The government leaders – President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah – have been accused, many times, of attempts to meddle in the upcoming presidential elections to drive the process in their favor.
This time, five presidential candidates – Mohammad Haneef Atmar, Ahmad Wali Massoud, Faramarz Tamanna, Shahab Hakimi and Rahmatullah Nabil – accused the government leaders of misusing the peace process to manipulate the upcoming presidential polls, scheduled for September 28.
Atmar on Friday said that he fears another delay in the elections, considering the current situation around elections and peace.
“If the elections are to be postponed, it should be decided by the nation. But I am against a decision that will be made on behalf of the nation by a person who is not legitimate right now,” Atmar said.
“We should not sacrifice the elections as a national and democratic process for a vague and unclear peace,” Tamanna said.
Former President Hamid Karzai said there might be a delay in the elections if a peace deal is reached with the Taliban.
“We do not want an interim government; we want peace. If peace happens, it is possible that the elections might be delayed. Peace is a priority for the Afghan people,” Karzai said.
“He [President Ghani] tries to postpone the elections and pave the way for an engineered election,” presidential candidate Shahab Hakimi said.
Meanwhile, President Ghani’s spokesman Sediqi Sediqqi said both peace and elections are top priorities for the Afghan government.
“The Afghan government under the leadership of President Ghani has a serious commitment on holding the elections and no one should have doubt in government’s will in this regard,” he said. “For the first time, the Afghan government has provided a big financial amount to the election commission and this itself shows a serious commitment.”