No meeting and political gathering were held in Afghanistan by the election campaign teams following Sunday’s deadly suicide attack that targeted the political office of Amrullah Saleh, a former head of the Afghan intelligence agency and a running mate for President Ashraf Ghani in the upcoming presidential election scheduled for September 28.
At least 18 candidates are competing to secure the office of the president in Afghanistan’s presidential elections amid a fragile security situation and among marathon diplomatic efforts between the US and the Taliban to end the two decades of hostility in the country.
Some lawmakers said that security threats, lack of trust in the elections and interference by government in the electoral process were among the reasons that the candidates do not show willingness to campaigning.
“There is the issue of peace and also uncertainty about the future and an uncertainty on whether the elections will be held or not. I think these are among the issues which have undermined the campaigns,” said Safiullah Hashemi, a Senator.
“On one hand, there is the issue of peace and on the other, the candidates are not confident whether they have the ability to deliver on their promises they have committed to the people and the security situation remains fragile,” said MP Ibrarullah.
People in different parts of the country called on the presidential candidate to respect the law and the election commission’s code of conduct during their campaign.
“Candidate should install their banners on proper places,” said Nazir Shinwari, a Kabul resident.
“We do not see any billboard and banner during this campaign,” said Nisar Ahmad, a Herat resident.
This comes as Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who also runs for president, at the Council of Ministers meeting on Monday said no government official can campaign for a certain candidate as the election campaigning began on Sunday.
Abdullah said the government is not a personal property of anyone and that people will decide to use the property in a way which will benefit the country.
The United Nations mission in Afghanistan in a statement on Monday called on all candidates and their supporters to engage in a fair campaign as outlined in the Election Law, the Independent Election Commission’s Code of Conduct for the candidates and regulations enacted by the Independent Election Commission.
The presidential election campaign started on 28 July and runs through to 25 September.