Senate asks candidates to end political deadlock
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Meshrano Jirga or upper house members on Sunday asked the two presidential candidates to find a negotiated end to their dispute as the prolonged electoral crisis had paralyzed the country.
The first round of the presidential election on April 5 did not produce a clear winner, triggering a runoff between the two leading contenders on June 14.
However, the runoff round was marred by fraud allegations after the preliminary results put Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the lead. His rival Abdullah Abdullah boycotted the vote count process and refused to accept the results.
Later the two candidates agreed to a full audit of the votes and to the formation of a national unity government in a deal brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The votes recount and auditing had finished but the final results are yet to be announced because the two campaigns have not yet agreed on a power-sharing formula.
The Abdullah’s camp has threatened to withdraw from the talks on the unity government if its demands are not met.
Hidayatullah Rehaee, a lawmaker from central Bamyan province, told the session that the top two vote-winners belonged to two rival groups, who would never agree to the formation of a government acceptable to all.
“The electoral process has prolonged too much, badly affecting people’s economy. I think the only solution lies in the creation of an interim government,” the lawmaker said.
But Senate chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar said that interim government should not be installed under any circumstances because such a set-up was not in the country’s interest.
“Nations go forward, why should we go back to the time 13 years ago?,” Muslimyar said in a reference to the year 2001 when President Karzai was chosen as the then interim government head.
“The presidential candidates should end their dispute for the sake of this long oppressed nation,” he demanded.
Muslimyar hoped the two campaigns, who held talks daily, would reach a positive outcome soon.
A member from central Panjsher province, Lailuma Ahadi, said the prolonged electoral crisis had resulted into an unprecedented economic decline.
She urged the two candidates to form a national unity government in the larger interest of the country.
Without naming anyone, the lawmaker alleged some election officials were making efforts at prolonging the electoral process.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.