President Ashraf Ghani’s rival candidates on Thursday accused him of misusing his authority and manipulating national assets for campaign purposes hours after the inauguration of Darulaman Palace, an imperial monument in the western part of Kabul that was heavily damaged the civil war in the country.
Critics said the president, instead of trying to create consensus among the people on the peace process, is focusing on some other issues which aren’t having any value in the view of the current sensitive situations of the country.
Mr. Ghani at a ceremony inaugurated Darulaman Palace after its renovation on Wednesday evening. The renovation of the palace took almost four years. But there was no presence of prominent Afghan politicians even the Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
“Today, we should talk about the survival of Afghanistan instead of engaging in personal campaigns because the Afghan people realize that there is a crisis and whether the election will be held or not, my feeling is that the government has got a bigger responsibility,” presidential candidate Shaida Mohammad Abdali said.
“This is a campaign program. All the money comes from the national treasury on how to get a victory,” presidential candidate Ibrahim Alokozay said.
“President Ghani’s statement was complaining and the measures which were taken was also a campaign. Therefore, we hope that the electoral complaints commission will assess this,” said Fraidoon Khwazoon, a spokesman for Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s campaign team.
But the Presidential Palace has insisted that the president never committed an extralegal action.
“A lot of people were invited including the politicians and influential personalities, but those who did not attend, it is their fault,” presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
The renovation of the palace began on May 2016 and was estimated $16.5 million funded by government’s budget.
The palace was built in the early 1920s during King Amanullah’s reign.
The palace was an imposing neoclassical building on a hilltop overlooking a flat, dusty valley in the western part of the Afghan capital. But now it has been renovated and there is no sign of destruction around it.