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Analysts offer mixed views on roadblocks as govt’s term ends

Analysts offer mixed views on roadblocks as govt’s term ends

May 22, 2019 - 17:36

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some analysts say the government has unnecessarily blocked roads leading to the Presidential Palace fearing protests by presidential candidates but others believe the government did so considering the country’s critical situation.

The unity government’s five-year term expired on Wednesday (May 22) and the presidential hopefuls maintain the government leaders’ stay beyond this date is against the Constitution.

The article 61 of the Constitution says, “The presidential term shall expire on 1st of Jawza (May 22) of the fifth year after elections held 30 or 60 days early before the end of the president’s job.”

However, the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) has announced September 22 as the presidential election date.

The Council of Presidential Candidates, a coalition of 11 presidential hopefuls, had earlier said President Ashraf Ghani’s stay in office beyond May 22 was illegal, and demanded a caretaker government to take over the helm of affairs after that date.

However, the Presidential Palace said a caretaker set up was against the supreme law.

The article 104 of the electoral law says, “In case, elections are postponed or suspended, members of the elected bodies mentioned in this law, shall continue to serve in their positions until elections are held and their results announced.”

As the tenure of the government led by President Ashraf Ghani ended today, May 22, some roads leading to the Presidential Palace were blocked by placing containers on them, fearing presidential candidates would protest.

Military and political affairs experts have different views about the issue.

Javid Kohistani, a military affairs expert, about the government’s action to block roads, said, “As I know, the presidential candidates have no plan for protests during the holy month of Ramadaninfo-icon and Eid days, but the government is afraid the public no longer trusts it as it has lost legitimacy.”

He said blockade of roads by the government in absence of any paninfo-icon for protests proved the weakness of the government of security and intelligence organs.

In response to a question whether presidential candidates have the ability to overthrow the government, he said, “The candidates have no such power but the public has it.”

Kohistani said blockade of roads created problems for public besides creating fears among the people.

Ghulam Jailani Zwak, another political analyst, also said road blockades by the government showed it had lost legitimacy and public trust.

He said such moves left negative impact on public’s minds as well as damaged people’s livelihood, businesses and economy.

However, some other analysts held different views.

Atiqullah Amarkhel, a military affairs expert, said, “It was rational that the government blocked roads because some protestors start looting people’s belongings during their demonstrations and violated protesting rules, so the government needed to block roads and protect people’s assets.”

He said security threats were also a reason the government took strict measures as insurgents often attacked protest rallies and people then blamed the government for its failure.

“The statements of presidential candidates made earlier sent a clear message of coup, there are people who can be purchased for disrupting the situation and start looting as well as create many problems,” he said.


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