AT News Report
KABUL: A number of electoral teams and political parties on Sunday once again termed recent appointments of President Ashraf Ghani as an election campaign.
Severe reaction to the recent appointments come at a time when the presidential vote is just around the corner, having been scheduled for September after multiple postponements. However, the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, sees Afghan peace deal with the Taliban possible by September and hence the elections might again be deferred.
The opposition parties said these appointments were in essence electoral campaigning ahead of time by the President and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) should curtail such moves.
Arif Kiyani, a spokesman for the Security and Justice Election Team led by Rahmatullah Nabil, said: “These appointments and dismissals by the government have completely an electoral aspect and they bring under question competitiveness of the forthcoming polls.”
This backlash comes as President Ghani through a presidential decree appointed Abdul Salam Rahimi as his special representative for peace and state minister in peace affairs on Saturday. Moments later of that decree, the president through a separate order established a deputy office on governance and programs under the presidential office’s structure and appointed his former spokesman, Haroon Chakhansuri, as its head.
In addition to that Sediq Sediqi has been appointed as new presidential spokesperson. Sediqi has previously served as the spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan.
Moreover, some of these critics and parliamentarians also dubbed Ghani’s visit to Pakistan as electoral campaigning. They claimed that president went to Pakistan in a bid to have the country’s backing in the upcoming presidential elections and thus this visit lacked any achievement for the ongoing peace process.
Seeing the election on the horizon, the President has started the trend of appointments and changes in the ministries and embassies while his legal mandate in office came to an end on May 22. He has since been under fire from political parties and electoral teams.