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Timely elections inevitable: Ghani

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Clouds of uncertainty about the holding of upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections began to clear on Wednesday after President Ashraf Ghani said the elections will be held on time. Opening parliament’s 8th working year, the president said the parliamentary and presidential elections are the responsibility of the government and will be free and fair and devoid of interferences.

Speculations have been circulating that Afghanistan’s long-delayed parliamentary and provincial council elections scheduled for July this year are to be postponed for another three months.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ghani said holding the elections is inevitable and the Election Commission should be free of politics and work independently. He said the government makes efforts to prevent any political intervention in the election process.

The president also reiterated his call on the Taliban to lay down arms and join peace talks. He urged the Taliban to solve disagreements with the government without killings and bloodshed.

He stated that reinforcement of security is another top agenda for the government, thus the government struggle best to strengthen defense and security forces. He pledged the government’s full-fetched focus over professionalism and reforms within security and defense forces crew. Emphasizing on strengthening the capabilities of Afghan security forces, Ghani said Afghanistan is facing an imposed war, necessitating a great role for security forces.

President Ghani in his remarks emphasized over the management of Afghanistan’s waters and said that water resources that are pouring out of Afghanistan into neighboring countries should be managed and utilized within Afghanistan.

The Chairman of the Lower House, Abdul Rauf Ibraimi, who lent weight behind the government’s peace proposal to the Taliban recommended stringent measures be adopted to contain spread of insecurity. He said the ongoing war has halted development process in the country. He also laid criticism on the government for delaying the parliamentary elections, demanding timely elections.

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