KABUL (Pajhwok): Six presidential candidates and a number of political parties deem the upcoming Consultative Loya Jirga for peace as ‘an election campaign’ and refuse to participate in it.
The Political Parties and National Institutes Coalition and electoral tickets of Hanif Atmar, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Rahmatullah Nabil, Anwarul Haq Ulumi, Ahmad Wali Massoud and Farmarz Tamanna have called the planned Loya Jirga ‘a political trick’ and ‘election campaign’ and said they would not be part of the event.
A dozen other presidential candidates had also earlier in a statement criticized the composition of the commission tasked with making preparation for holding the Loya Jirga and the High Council of Reconciliation. The candidates had said they were not consulted about the appointment of members of the two bodies.
Eleven political parties including National Solidarity Party, Afghanistan National United, Afghanistan Development, Milli Watan, Sadat Solidarity Afghanistan and some others under the single platform of ‘Political Parties and National Institutes’ Coalition’ have boycotted the Loya Jirga.
Noorulhaq Ulumi, a presidential hopeful, addressing a press conference in Kabul, on Monday said political parties had formed a coalition to fight against the government’s ‘illegal’ actions.
He criticized the government’s leadership and said holding the Loya Jirga was a political trick, waste of time and election campaign. He said participating in the gathering with personal motives and deceiving the public would be beneficial.
“The peace in which the rights of all the citizens are considered is good, but only specific figures are invited by specific individuals so it would not be helpful and that was the reason presidential elections boycotted it unless they are included as members of the Loya Jirga,” he said.
Ulumi claimed the government had failed to fulfill its past promises and had so sar violated 64 articles of the Constitution. He said the legitimacy of the government would end after June 22, thus lawyers and civil society should consult how to fill the vacuum beyond that date.
Hanif Atmar’s ticket also boycotted the Loya Jirga and released a statement that said they had concerns regarding the Jirga. It said the Loya Jirga was aimed at reflecting public opinions but to spread preordered messages.
Atmar’s team said it had previously expressed concern about the way the Loya Jirga was being organized, its structure and members.
On the other hand, Rahmatullah Nabil’s electoral ticket in a statement also announced a boycotted of the Loya Jirga.
The statement said the “Security and Justice electoral team” would support every step that overcomes the crisis and achieves lasting peace based on the wishes of the Afghans.
However, the team said the lack of a well-documented mechanism for selecting members of the Jirga, allocation of five million dollars of a starving nation without transparency in its consumption and clear objectives, lack of legitimacy of the Jirga, sidelining political parties and civil society institutions were among  majors concerns about holding of the Loya Jirga.
Another part of the statement said the “Security and Justice electoral team” would not attend the upcoming consultative Loya Jirga on peace after assessing all aspects of the event.
The mammoth Jirga is expected to be held on April 29 in capital Kabul, in which around 2,500 people are expected to participate from all over the country.
Meanwhile, head of the Jihad wa Muqawmat party, Gen. Din Mohammad Jurat, also a senior member of Mohammad Hanif Atmar’s team, today addressed a press conference in Kabul and termed the upcoming Counsultative Loya Jirga as a campaign for the next presidential election.
Jurat said they rejected the Consultative Loya on peace because it was a government drive to strengthen its passion in the upcoming presidential polls.
He further said as the current National Unity Government (NUG) mandate was expiring soon, it wanted to extend its term by holding such jirgas.
Meanwhile, another electoral team “Afghanistan Development and Plan” led by Dr. Faramarz Tamanna also refused to attend the Consultative Loya Jirga on Peace and said in a statement that the Jirga would not address any issue of the country.
Ahmad Wali Massoud, another presidential hopeful, says he would not take part in the upcoming Consultative Loya Jirga.
Earlier, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah’s presidential election team on Sunday announced it was not participating in the Loya Jirga.


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