Govt faces legitimacy questions despite tenure extension

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: A number of presidential candidates and legal experts warned that there would be “severe repercussions” for the country if the incumbent government continues under President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. Despite an end in the National Unity Government’s constitutional term, the Supreme Court in April extended the government’s tenure until presidential elections, September 28.  

Noorullah Jalili, a presidential candidate, said Afghanistan will enter into a new crisis if the current situation prevails. “All government institutions, including the president are facing a legitimacy question. A ‘chaotic destiny’ will wait for Afghans if the ‘violations’ continue,” Jalili told TOLOnws.

Jalili recommended a three-chapter plan based on which a 20-member committee involving members of all parties, representatives of the presidential candidates and the international community will oversee the activities of the president and other candidates during the elections.

“When another body comes and interprets Article 61 of the Constitution and postpones the elections, why you (the Supreme Court) as the top legal body does not call for accountability of the person who has acted in contravention of the Constitution,” a legal expert Abdul Ali Mohammadi said. 

Another candidate, Ahmad Wali Massoud, who also heads the Massoud Foundation, reiterated on a “collective decision” of at least 13 presidential runners for establishing a “caretaker government” until the upcoming presidential polls. “I really don’t know what are the achievements of the incumbent government for the people?” asked Massoud.

This comes a day after the US Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass said that the National Unity Government’s constitutional term has ended, however, he clarified that the United States “respects the interpretation of the constitutional court which has extended the government’s tenure”. “We passed the end of the government’s constitutionally mandated term,” Bass said in an interview with TOLOnews. He said that he expects the government leaders and their cabinet members and staff members understand the “extraordinary period” and act with “self-restraint” during this period.

We fully expect that the president and the chief executive officer and the ministers and their staffs understand that this is an extraordinary period and that they should be acting with a degree of self-restraint in how they conduct the business of government to limit that to the fundamental business of the government,” he said. (Tolo News)