Led by presidential candidate Mohammad Haneef Atmar, the Peace and Moderation election campaign in a statement on Thursday suspended its campaign the view of the changing political situation of the country among them the peace process and Afghan government's "extralegal actions" that the campaign believes has raised serious doubts in the legitimacy of the election process.
“In the view of the changing situation in the country, the leadership of Peace and Moderation team is constantly assessing its role and will take further decisions in the view of the political scenario of the country,” says the statement.
“As our dear compatriots are aware of it, the national election process has been disrupted by the ruling team's unlawful actions and has completely lost its legitimacy,” a statement by the Peace and Moderation team says.
The statement says that despite serious and sustained efforts by the Peace and Moderation team to work with other electoral teams within the framework of the council of presidential candidates including a week-long suspension of campaigns, unfortunately, no reforms were made and clear interference by the Presidential Palace continue to prevail to this day.
The statement says that with consideration of this situation which exists today, there is no sufficient trust about the transparency and guarantee for holding free and fair elections.
Sources close to Mr. Atmar’s campaign on Thursday said that the team could collapse as disagreements between Mr. Atmar and his election ally Atta Mohammad Noor remains unresolved.
Mr. Atmar and Mr. Noor didn’t manage to forge consensus on their disagreements, said the sources.
Origin of the problem:
Last month, the political office of Atta Mohammad Noor, the former governor of northern Balkh and chief executive of Jamiat-e-Islami party, who joined Atmar’s campaign team ahead of September presidential elections had confirmed reports of differences within the campaign and said the disagreements broke out after Atmar backtracked from his original position on the post of premiership.
Noor’s aides say that Atmar had committed in a written document to create the post of prime minister once he wins the presidential elections.
But, Atmar’s spokesman last month said the creation of the post of prime minister was of a national issue and that the campaign is holding talks regarding the issue to reach to some type of understanding on it.
Differences between Atmar and Noor initially surfaced after Atmar during a televised interview said that the president should have the authority to dismiss or appoint the prime minister.
But sources on Thursday said that Noor wants to appear in the Atmar’s team as prime minister from now while Atmar believes that the issue should be discussed at a Loya Jirga that will be convened once the team wins the elections.
In addition, Atmar’s running mate for first vice president Mohammad Younus Qanooni has urged Noor to support Atmar.
Sources also said that Qanooni has already separated his way from Atmar despite has not formally stepped down from the team and this has compelled Atmar to withdraw from the elections race.
Previously, another political movement Harakat-e-Siasi Azad Afghanistan-led by Sayed Mohammad Ali Jawed once an ally to Atmar split from the Atmar’s team.