Two key political parties, Jamiat-e-Islami Afghanistan and Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan, believe that convening the Loya Jirga – the grand council – and holding elections are not possible under the current circumstances; therefore, they see a Bonn-like conference as a viable option for opening the way for a transfer of power in the country.
The two parties say that there is a need for a national consensus around the transfer of power to a future government.
The parties called on the warring sides in the country to show flexibility to achieve a lasting peace.
“Nothing holds legitimacy except an election for the transfer of power to a transitional government,” said Subhan Misbah, the deputy head of the lawyers' union.
But members of Jamiat-e-Islami and Hizb-e-islami said that there is a need for a peace agreement with the Taliban as soon as possible; therefore, holding an election in such a short time is not possible.
“Under the current circumstances, we can consider a legitimate path, supported by national consensus, that brings peace. This national consensus can bring peace and can create legitimacy if it is created around the negotiations,” said Waqif Hakimi, a member of Jamiat-e-Islami.
“If we say that an election should be held, then we should wait for an election. On the other hand, the other side is not ready for an election. It is better to ignore these issues and think about a future government, a government that includes all sides’ views, a government that is acceptable for all and reduces violence,” said Abdul Sattar Khawasi, a member of the leadership of Hizb-e-Islami.
Politicians said that convening a Loya Jirga is not possible under the current situation; therefore, a Bonn-like conference can open the way for development for the transfer of power.
“Unfortunately, the legitimate options like a Loya Jirga are not possible under the current situation or are too difficult. Right now, the best option is that as it was done at the Bonn conference. All our international allies made decisions for us but the decision for the future is on Afghans,” said Sayed Ishaq Gailani, head of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan.
A meeting led by the United Nations is expected to be held in Istanbul in April, at the request of the US, to discuss ways to address Afghanistan’s issues.