Ahadi named to run for president
KABUL (PAN): Key political parties have agreed to field Anwarul Haq Ahadi, the Commerce and Industries Minister, as their joint candidate in next year’s presidential elections, a reliable source said on Sunday.
Privy to a meeting held Friday at the residence of Haji Mohammad Muhaqqiq, the Wihdat Party leader, the source said General Dostum, the Uzbek leader, not present at the meeting, endorsed the decision when informed through the telephone.
Besides Mohaqqiq, the meeting was also attended by Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, the economy minister and the chief of a moderate faction of the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan, former interior minister Hanif Atmar, and Anwarul Haq Ahadi.
Wolesi Jirga (lower house member) Faizullah Zaki spoke on behalf of Dostum, the source said on condition of anonymity.
After confirmed as a consensus candidate, Ahadi, the head of the Afghan Social Democratic Party (Afghan Mellat), had entered talks with other political groups and tribal elders to muster their support, the source said, adding Ahadi and Atmar met again on Saturday.
He said the decision on Ahadi candidacy would not be made public or confirmed until for a month in order to take other political parties into confidence and gather their support.
In 2009 presidential elections, Ahadi had announced he would be running against President Karzai, but later dropped out and threw his support behind Karzai.
The decision on his candidacy could not be confirmed immediately from Ahadi, but the HIA denied taking part in the meeting by its leader Arghandiwal.
Other political parties including the Right and Justice Party have intensified their efforts and contacts to reach alliances on fielding potential presidential runners.
Karzai and his deputy Mohammad Qasim Fahim have been calling for “national consensus” to have a fewer number of candidates running in the April 5 presidential elections.
In interview with Pajhwok in April, Ahadi said some political parties had launched efforts at creating a pre-election national consensus to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.
"Some groups in Kabul are working and talking about national consensus before next presidential elections to keep the country from plunging into a new political chaos," Ahadi said.
He said national consensus, if reached, would result into a fewer number of candidates jumping into the presidential fray, something he hoped would guarantee a peaceful transfer of power to a future government.
He warned if the ballot was rigged it could lead to new crisis that could not be easily brought under control given the current so many challenges facing the country.
The Right and Justice Party’s executive board head, Sardar Mohammad Roshan, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the coordination council of political parties on Thursday held a meeting at the residence of former National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief, Amrullah Saleh, and discussed the elections.
More than two dozens political groups, including two major opposition parties, have formed the “coordination council” to jointly push for a transparent and fraud-free 2014 presidential election, according to the council’s manifesto.
The council, a coalition of 25 political parties, including Afghanistan National Coalition (NSC) and Afghanistan National Front (ANF), is aimed at joining forces to cope with the ongoing crises in Afghanistan.
Once the issue of national consensus is resolved, political parties would announce a joint candidate and his running mates, a senior Right and Justice party member, Hamidullah Farooqi, said.
A politician, who attended the coordination council meeting, said on condition of anonymity that representatives of 23 parties were present at the meeting and later three more parties joined the council.
At the meeting, the council was divided into two groups and tasked with holding regular meetings twice a week; he said. One group would work on characteristics of the next president and had to present its findings to the next gathering of the council while the second group would work on a national agenda.
An Afghan Millat Party official, who wished not to be named, said former interior minister, Hanif Atmar, HIA leader Arghandiwal and Mahaz-i-Milli leader Pir Syed Ahmad Gilani had been discussing introducing a joint candidate.
He said no decision had so far been taken in this regard, but many leaders wanted Ahadi to run for president.
Dr. Anwar-ul Haq Ahadi, son of Abdul Haqhas, earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon in Economics and Political Sciences.
He received a Master's degree in Fiscal Affairs and Management and a PhD in Political Science from Northwestern University.
Ahadi has served as an Assistant Professor of Political Sciences at Carlton University in the United States. From 1985 to 1987, he served as the Banking Director of Continental Elona of Chicago. From 1987 to 2002, he served as a Professor of Political Science at Providence University in Rhode Island.
The author of many publications in academic journals, books and popular dailies of the United States, Ahadi served as the Director of Da Afghanistan Bank (Central Bank of Afghanistan) from 2002 to 2004. He speaks Pashto, Dari and English.
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