President Ashraf Ghani says that a possible peace deal – which will potentially take place in the coming weeks – will not impact the upcoming presidential elections, scheduled for September 28.
“We need to differentiate the peace that will impact the elections. It is the peace between the Afghan government and Taliban, not peace between US and Taliban. As I said it is series of linkages,” Ghani said in an interview with Turkey’s TRT aired on Tuesday.
He said that the Afghan government is on the same page with its international allies to seek a preliminary peace before the elections.
“Our agreement with the US and our other interlocutors is to seek a preliminary peace, a framework agreement before the elections,” Ghani said. “The election is critical because election is a certain process, it is a mandated process by the constitution.”
Ghani said that peace will require “hard decisions” which will be made by the next leader of Afghanistan who will get his mandate from the people of Afghanistan through a democratic process.
In a question about Taliban’s “clear bid” to restore an Islamic emirate in Afghanistan, Ghani said that “emirates was never accepted by the people of Afghanistan” and that “it was imposed by force”.
He said the Loya Jirga, the Grand Council, held in April, has endorsed the notion of the republic.
Ghani said that based on formal figures, of nearly 400 districts, only 22 are under the Taliban control. “The Taliban do not control a single city,” Ghani said.
Ghani said that the idea of establishing an interim government is “nonsense” and that “no government has the right, democratically elected government has the right to dissolve itself”.
“By what authority will an interim government be created?,” Ghani asked.
The idea of establishing an interim government to prevent a power gap in the country was suggested by a group of presidential candidates back in May.
President Ghani’s term has ended on May 22 based on the Constitution but the Supreme Court extended his term until the upcoming presidential elections.