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Karzai ruled better than Ghani: Survey

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The Democracy International (DI) released a report on Thursday claiming that Hamid Karzai has ruled the country far better than President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani because majority of lawmakers have lost trust over the National Unity Government (NUG.)

In its survey about the Wolesi Jirga and Meshrano Jirga, the DI interviewed 215 legislators about corruption, insecurity, electoral reforms, rule of law, governance, and joblessness in the country.

The report said that the current level of pessimism among members of the parliament illustrates a staggering drop from the optimistic outlook Afghans had just after establishment of the NUG in 2014.

The report found out that majority of lawmakers preferred Hamid Karzai-administration than the NUG because of growing insecurity, rampant corruption and joblessness in the country.

Technical Advisor of DI, Zekria Barakzai, said that according to the survey, except seven percent of interviewed lawmakers, majority of them were pessimistic about the current government.

He said that the parliamentarians underlined growing insecurity, corruption, unemployment, interference of foreign counties and violations of the laws as major causes of the pessimism.

“Unfortunately, majority of the interviewed legislators alleged that the NUG is going in the wrong direction. Only seven percent of them expressed optimism over the current government. Fifty percent of the lawmakers pointed out insecurity and joblessness as serious challenges in the country, and claimed that they are unable to visit their respective constituencies to address grievances of the electorates,” he explained.

Hinting to the parliamentary and district councils elections, Barakzai said that majority of the legislators demand fundamental electoral reforms before the polls.

“The lawmakers are concerned about the security situation. In order to ensure free and transparent polls, they [legislators] asked the government to improve coordination among the state institutions and hold zonal parliamentary election,” he said. By zonal parliamentary election Barakzai meant elections at each zone to avoid mishap in the polling process while keeping the fragile security situation in view.

Sayed Akhtar, an employee of the DI who presented the report, said that 40 percent of lawmakers are satisfied about peace talks with the Taliban and they believe that the militant group could join the political administration on the condition that they accept and respect the Constitution.

He added that a large number of the senators and Wolesi Jirga members are worried about presence of Daesh fighters in the country, and claimed that they could not meet with people in the areas where the Middle Eastern terror group had established strongholds.

Regarding to President Ashraf Ghani efforts for good governance, he highlighted that 31 percent of the interviewed lawmakers were optimistic about Ghani’s good governance, but majority of them expressed pessimism, he mentioned.

On the other hand, 21 percent of lawmakers expressed satisfaction over efforts of Abdullah Abdullah for good governance, but a large number of them were not optimistic.

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