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Editorial: Ghani is under pressure to vacate office

Amidst gearing electioneering activities in connection with the Presidential polls scheduled to be held in coming September, sitting President Dr. Ashraf Ghani is being asked by rival candidates to vacate the office as his term is already expired on May 22. Beside others sitting Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah who is also contesting for the top slot for third time has demanded of President Dr. Ashraf Ghani to vacate the office, which according to him is “essential for ensuring polls transparency and impartiality.” Presidential candidate, Haneef Atmar praised his rival in the September polling, Abdullah Abdullah for asking President Ghani to leave the office as his legal term ended. Similar demand was made earlier by 12 other aspirants otherwise warning against “other options” if he remained in power. So far President Ghani has rejected the demand saying that he was allowed by the Supreme Court to stay in power until a new president comes. But Abdullah said that the constitution clarified May 22 as the last work day of president. Atmar has praised Abdullah’s stance as “realistic”. The politicians also threatened to stage “nationwide demonstrations” to topple President Ghani’s government if he did not step down. The demonstrations were called to be staged after the Eid ul Fitr which comes at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. In the wake of such demands and threats, now common people are also uncertain and their fears of further violence due to increasing hostilities amongst the Presidential aspirants are fueling day by day. No doubt to mention that earlier the war affected countrymen made disappointed when prolong round of talks between US Special Envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban political office terminated without any positive outcomes in second week of current May. Khalilzad has earlier suggested President Ghani to delay holding of the Presidential elections with a view to encourage the Taliban. But Ghani has declined to do so. In fact, circumstances since 2014 proved that polls couldn’t resolve the long awaited conflict. The conflict needs to be resolved through peaceful and political ways, therefore Afghan leadership needs to back all those options aimed at bringing the Taliban into mainstream of existing political process. Afghanistan is suffering and suffered a lot due to imposed hostilities. Its people couldn’t afford further strange pulling for perks and powers. It is the time for leadership to realize their responsibilities at this crucial stage and save the country of plunging into another era of hostilities and crises.

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