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Low turnout overshadows election legitimacy: Hekmatyar

AT News Report

KABUL: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of presidential candidates rejects ideas about election legitimacy despite low turnout, saying that people’s low participation in the Saturday’s contest overshadows its legitimacy.

Hekmatyar who was speaking about the election issues on Wednesday, accused the “ruling team”” (Ghani and Abdullah’s teams) of fraud, saying that voters’ turnout was not as high to help a candidate win the majority of votes.

The leader of Hezb-e-Islami, one of 15 jihadi organizations, reiterated previous threats over holding back weapon to fight if the election was not transparent. He came under huge criticisms by Afghan and foreign analysts for the statement.

He also criticized the national unity government as a “a failed experience”, saying it would not be repeated.

He called the low turnout “shame”, blaming the government for such “irresponsible decision” instead of peace efforts. He called the latest election as “the weakest contest”.

Hekmatyar added that he would not have joined the unity government if he was in Abdullah Abdullah’s position.

The former jihadi leader asked the independent election commission to announce a transparent election after separating reliable and unreliable votes.

He called on the foreigners not to interfere in Afghans’ issues and let them make decisions for themselves.

Hekmatyar claimed that Ghani and Abdullah frequently asked him via foreign mediators to join them and they would give 35 to 45 key government positions to him, but he rejected the requests.

He touched the peace talks, saying that negotiations would be restarted as the US has no other choice to solve its problems.

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