Noor allegations called politically motivated
KABUL (PAN): Some political analysts have dismissed Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor’s allegations that President Karzai had offered his party a $100 million bank cheque in return for supporting his team as far from true and aimed at gaining political mileage.
But Noor on Tuesday backed out of his claim, saying the president had not offered him any cheque. He told journalists the northern province President Karzai had just asked him to support a candidate of his choice. “He did not offer a blank cheque.”
Nasrullah Stanikzai, who teaches political sciences in Kabul University, said President Karzai reserved the right to move judiciary organs against Noor for his charges.
“Legally, if the president has really made such an offer to Noor, who calls it bribe, as a governor he must have informed the judiciary departments about it,” he said.
Also a key member of the Jamiat-i-Islami Party (JIP), Noor levelled the allegation against Karzai at an inaugural ceremony for a party office in Kabul on Monday.
“President Hamid Karzai’s team offered us a colossal amount of dollars, a blank cheque and other favors. But we rejected the offer out of hand.”
Noor said in categorical terms that Karzai and his electoral team had repeatedly tried to lure his party into joining the incoming cabinet.
“I was told the fragile presidential team will get stronger if the Jamiat-i-Islami throws its weight behind it,” Noor maintained.
But Stanikzai said such claims often surfaced in election days as part of electioneering and political interaction.
“I believe Noor’s accusations have political aspects in favour of his preferred presidential runner in a bid to lure other political groups into his camp.” He said being part of the incumbent government, Noor should not have made such remarks.
The issue made headlines a day after President Karzai directed all government officials not to interfere in the Independent Election Commission (IEC)’s affairs and maintain impartiality in the poll process.
In a decree from the Office of Administrative Affairs, the president warned government servants meddling in the electoral process would be referred to judicial departments.
All departments were asked to cooperate with the election commission to better conduct the democratic exercise, scheduled for April 2014. Officials were directed not to force voters to name the candidates they supported.
Jandad Spinghar, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) Chief Executive, said some MPs and government officials, especially governors, had accompanied presidential candidates while filing nomination papers with the IEC in violation of the election law.
He said such figures had no respect for electoral regulations and asked the IEC to take legal action against those who had violated the presidential decree barring government officials from supporting candidates.
A total of 27 individuals, including former jihadis, have filed nomination papers to contest the April 5 presidential elections, seen as crucial to Afghanistan’s future and continued international assistance.
A number of lawmakers, governors and Cabinet ministers accompanied Afghanistan National Coalition (ANC) head Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Dawat-i-Islami Party chief Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf and Qayyum Karzai when they arrived at the main IEC office for filing nomination papers.
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