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SC extends NUG’s term until polls

AT Monitoring Desk

KABUL: To put rest over legitimacy questions of the government that what would happen after President Ghani’s term expires on May 22, the Supreme Court (SC) on Sunday said it had extended the National Unity Government’s term until presidential elections. Initially it was slated for April 20, but delayed until September 28.    

“The Afghan supreme court has extended the service term of President Ghani until the re-election of a new president,” the court said in a statement.

“The supreme court understands the financial, security and logistical challenges faced by the election commission.”

But extension come when a group of 11 presidential candidates – out of a total of 18 – are seeking an alternative to the National Unity Government, also called NUG, after its legal term ends on May 22.

Based on Article 61 of the Constitution, government term will end on May 22 but the upcoming presidential elections have been scheduled for September 28. The candidates said they are trying to prevent a power gap.

Moreover, the President Ghani himself in time and again in many occasions reiterated that he has no intention to stay in power after the legal term of his government.

This also comes as US making all out efforts to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban, and some had speculated the polls were being deliberately stalled to create more space for those talks.

The supreme court said it was asking “presidential candidates to respect the delay in the presidential elections.”

The National Unity Government was initially formed in 2014 after controversial elections which left the two leading candidates – President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah – with disagreements over alleged fraud in the polls.

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