Ghani Rejects Claims He Is Monopolizing Power

KABUL (TOLONews): Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani has rejected accusations that he is consolidating his political power at a time that political rifts, within the Presidential Palace and among his mainstream political rivals, expand.

Ghani’s opponents have accused him of trying to centralize power within the Presidential Palace, claims the president has rejected as baseless. He maintains national decisions are made in consensus with all parties.

But Ghani called on his political opponents to come forward and present their recommendations for reforms.

Government officials must respect the rules of governance in their speeches, said Ghani referring to a recent statement by CEO Abdullah Abdullah’s second deputy Mohammad Mohaqiq. Mohaqiq claimed the president had shouted at officials in national security council meetings.

“The important point is that government’s key duties and the job of ministries should be clear, you cannot ask for logical budget spending while you are taking political decisions,” said Ghani, referring to the Coalition to Rescue Afghanistan.

Ghani’s remarks come just a few days after leaders from three mainstream Afghan political parties, including Jamiat-e-Islami party, Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami party and Junbish-e-Milli party, agreed to establish a coalition entitled Coalition to Rescue Afghanistan. This was forged in the Turkish city of Ankara. The coalition’s draft resolution listed a number of demands to government.

Ghani also talked about the absence of his First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum.

“It is a legal and judicial issue; it is a case between two individuals and the government is totally neutral in this respect; he travelled with the permission of Afghanistan’s Attorney General, because the law is very clear about this; if someone is suspected [of wrongdoing], but he is ill, he had a serious illness and travelled with the permission of the Attorney General of Afghanistan; I cannot comment on the legal and judicial issues,” added Ghani.

He said that government will settle the issue of caretakers within six months.  “My commitment is quite clear and we need to overcome the issue of caretakers within six months; I don’t want caretakers anywhere,” said Ghani.

In conclusion, Ghani said that holding of the country’s elections in a free and transparent manner were among the obligations of government.

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