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Our only demand is fair elections: Hekmatyar

Our only demand is fair elections: Hekmatyar

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Jul 17, 2018 - 19:17

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistaninfo-icon (HIA) party leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar on Tuesday said his party would not boycott elections, but political parties’ suggestions regarding electoral transparency should be implemented.

Three days earlier, leaders and representatives of a number of political parties and movements such as Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, Jamiat-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistan, Wahadat-i-Islami Afghanistan and Junbish-i-Milli and some other parties termed the voter registration process as inappropriate, fraudulent and demanded fresh registration of voters using the biometric system.

The political parties stressed transparency in upcoming polls by changing the current Single-Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) system to Multi-Dimensional Representation (MDR).

They had warned: “If the government, IECinfo-icon and international community do not accept our demands and we consider it a crisis for Afghanistan.”

A day earlier, President Ghani in response to the political parties demands, said, “Who are these politicians who make decisions on behalf of Afghanistan people, who chose them, what percentage votes have they obtained, when were they elected, I came here based on the Afghans’ votes, I had no power and gold then, I came here by my ideas, what they did who had power in Afghanistan for four decades.”

The president said the Oct 20 elections would be held on schedule and no jirgainfo-icon (council)’s decision would be accepted and the Constitution wouls be followed.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar told a press conference here that political parties had presented a logical and practicable suggestion to the government.

He said the political parties had been rivals in the past but today they put aside their differences and agreed on a complicated issue such as elections.

“Our today’s meeting is not a conflict with the government or opening a political front against it, neither it is a movement to seek share in power, we only want transparency in the upcoming elections and respect for the vote,” Hekmatyar added.

He said political parties in the past had also shared their suggestions and had made six demands on the government.

Observation of election affairs by political parties was one of the six demands from the government, he said.

Despite accepting this demand by the president, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and foreign donors, the election process was begun unjustly and without observation of political parties and their demands were ignored, he said.

Examples of frauds

Hekmatyar alleged one person had been issued up to 20 Tazkiras (identity cards) and thousands of fake voter ID cards had been printed in Kabul, Iran’s Mashhad city and in Peshawar.

“In Ghazni province, 280 IEC employees are appointed from one ethnic group while only 20 employees are appointed from other ethnic groups which make 70 percent of the province’s population,” he added.

He alleged some areas of the country were intentionally destabilized for political reasons.

Hekmatyar rejected IEC claim 8.6 million people had so far registered as voters and said their information showed only 3.6 million had registered in the registration process.

He said: “We have one demand that is transparency in election. This election should be clearly different from the previous polls, it should free, fair and transparent in which a failed candidate shall congratulate the winner.”

The HIA head warned if elections were conducted in the prevailing environmentinfo-icon, the result would be dangerous and might lead to a revolt.

Hekmatyar made it clear he was not against the incumbent government, asking for change in the power through elections. He said some circles talked about interim government which was not the right option.

The HIA head said no one has the right to ignore political parties. “I don’t know who has this right to corner political parties. Political parties mean the nation and today the entire nation has assembled under leadership of political parties,” he said.

He asked the government not to pave the way for confrontation. The masses should not be forced to come out on roads and close the doors of the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

Hekmatyar said some people were mulling making alliances against the government, which was their right but according to him alliances should have logical strategy to pull the country out of crisis.

The HIA leader said he had not seen an alliance which had been able resolve problems of the nation with its strategy and plans.

He asked political parties to distance themselves from individuals who were against the names Afghanistan and Afghan.

Hekmatyar again asked conflicting parties to quit fighting and choose the path of reconciliation and talks.  He called on some circles within the government to stop creating hurdles to the peace process.

mds/nh/ma

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