Analysts split on unity govt accord
KABUL (Pajhwok): Like common people, political analysts are also divided on the unity government deal between Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, the president-elect, and Abdullah Abdullah, the chief executive officer.
The rival electoral campaigns two days ago inked a unity government agreement, ending the political deadlock, intense negotiations and uncertainty that had been gripping the impoverished nation over the past six months.
Under the deal, the Loya Jirga will be called into session to amend the Constitution in order to bring reforms to the electoral bodies and create the chief executive officer post, similar to a prime minister.
How to appoint top government officials and the government opposition is part of the seven-article agreement.
Keeping in mind the prevailing situation in the country, some people say they are happy with the unity government, but others are concerned that the deal-based government will be unable to have coordination in its affairs.
Kabul University teacher Nasrullah Stanikzai said the Constitution did not clearly mention if the chief executive position be given to a particular person or organisation.
However, the Constitution allowed the establishment of departments needed to smoothly run government’s affairs, he added.
He believed the president would not surrender his powers to anyone under any circumstances, but under the Constitution, his job was transferable.
About distribution of key posts, Stanikzai said: “It will have no problem if distributed with mutual understanding and agreement.”
“When the president issues a decree, it means he authorises (someone), but the issue has no evidence in the Constitution. However, under administrative laws, one can transfer his power to another.”
Stanikzai warned if the appointment of high officials was carried out against the national interest, the move could lead to a crisis because the appointed officials would think they were answerable only to the person who had appointed them.
He ridiculed the idea of appointing the opposition by the government itself. He said opposition was a natural phenomenon and possibly other groups might establish the opposition.
“If the government sets up the opposition, it is a joke from the administrative and political point of view. No government establishes oppositions.”
Kabul University teacher Shehla Farid said the chief executive regime was a political settlement between the two candidates to break the electoral deadlock.
She said the chief executive position had no legal or constitutional cover and could only be legalised if the Loya Jirga was called to amend the Constitution.
She said only necessary measures for creation of a strong and sound administration and realisation of reforms in the administration system could be legal under the Article 50 of the Constitution.
But the chief executive position was solely the issue of government leadership and had no conformity with the administration system, she explained.
The university teacher saw some powers with the chief executive officer parallel to those of the president’s, saying any presidential decree creating such powers was itself against the law.
“I am very upset that they buried democracy and now the president-elect is turning breaking laws into a culture. The law breaking has begun from the very first day of the political agreement.”
Shahla said she was concerned the two rival teams would enter many such agreements until the end of their government and would repeatedly violate the Constitution as a matter of survival.
“The way they destroyed democracy and they will do the same with the Constitution,” she feared.
She suggested the unity government should appoint experts persons on key government posts irrespective of their party affiliations. “If they appoint people from their respective groups, it will be great betrayal of the nation.”
She said there were men accused of war crimes on both the sides and if they were appointed on key posts, it would shatter people’s all hopes.
About the government opposition, she said: “I can’t understand what logic it carries. The opposition has become part of the government under the unity government deal and has occupied the executive position and will also play its role as opposition.”
The unity government deal between the two electoral campaigns allowed the election commission to announce the election winner.
Under the political accord, the two sides have made some pledges, including sincere cooperation in running government’s affairs.
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