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Candidates Warn To Use ‘Any Option’ If Ghani Remains In Power

22 May 2019 Tolo News

The Council of Presidential Candidates on Tuesday once again warned that they will use “any option” against the incumbent government if President Ashraf Ghani does not leave his office on May 22 or if he does not reach a political consensus with the Afghan politicians about the end of his tenure. 

Based on Article 62 of the Constitution, May 22 marks the end of the National Unity Government’s legal term. The presidential candidates called on Ghani to respect the Constitution. 

The presidential elections is scheduled to be held on September 28 after two times delay while it had to be held in April based on a previous schedule. The candidates suggest a caretaker government which according to them will prevent power gap.    

“We expected that the president will sit with the candidates to talk in this regard today (Tuesday). But I think he did not come or he may have changed his decision,” said Shadab Hakimi, a presidential candidate.

He said President Ghani should not continue his tenure after May 22. “If this happened, it will affect Afghanistan’s international relations as well as the country’s security and economy,” said Hakimi.

Despite the pressure from the presidential candidates, on April 26, the Supreme Court extended President Ghani’s tenure until the elections. 

The candidates said the Supreme Court “cannot interpret” the Constitution.

“There is no legal solution because the system itself was established in contravention of the law… The only way is to refer to political consensus and find a legal solution,” said Gul Ahmad Madadzai, deputy head of Afghanistan’s Lawyers Union. 

This comes as Ghani’s deputy spokesman Shahussain Murtazawi on Monday, May 20, said the presidential candidates had nothing new in their fresh remarks and that they repeated what they had said in the past. He said the Supreme Court is the only source of the interpretation of the Afghan Constitution. “Individuals cannot interpret the law,” he said.   

The candidates have warned to launch big rallies in Kabul city.  

On Tuesday, the Kabul city was under tight security measures due to a possible rally by the candidates.

The candidates have said they will wait for President Ghani’s response by Wednesday and then they will decide on the rally.

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