Hekmatyar-led HIA boycotts runoff vote
The Express Tribune, a Pakistan-based newspaper, quoted senior HIA leader Ghairat Bahir as saying the decision was driven by both leading presidential runners' support for the continued presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan.
Dead-set against the stay of NATO-led troops, the HIA took part in the April 5 elections, throwing its weight behind Qutbuddin Hilal. Hilal was placed fifth on the list of eight presidential candidates.
Bahir told the newspaper: “The Hezb-i-Islami’s central executive committee has decided to boycott the second round of the elections. The party leaders have endorsed the decision.”
He added the party, which had stayed away from the two previous election, would neither support Dr Abdullah nor Ashraf Ghani as both favoured signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US.
“Their (Abdullah and Ghani) manifestos clash with the Hezb’s policies and that is why we have decided to boycott the runoff,” he argued, believing transparent elections were impossible in the presence of foreign troops.
However, the HIA clarified the party would not use force to disrupt the process and would leave it to the people to decide whether or not to go to polling centres. Its spokesman Haroon Zarghoon promised they would attack polling sites.
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