Hekmatyar eyes making a ‘strong election team’

KABUL (TOLO News): The reconciled leader of Hizb-e-Islami and a presidential candidate, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, says that efforts are underway to bring together several presidential teams to enter the race in the form of a strong ticket.

However, he did not make it clear whether he will join other teams or other teams will join him in the presidential elections.

Eighteen candidates, including President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah – who are sharing the national unity government – are competing in the 2019 presidential elections in Afghanistan.

Hekmatyar, who left Kabul on Friday to attend a conference of Afghan politicians and Pakistani officials in Murree, Pakistan, rejected the rumors which say he is opting to join President Ghani in the presidential elections.

“Serious efforts are underway on to unite several election tickets to create a single election team,” Hekmatyar said at a press conference in Kabul this week. “The union of election teams can help in formation of a strong team so that it can at least inform the people about a unified agenda and people can come together for a unified team. It will also reduce the election cost and can ease the elections for the people,” Hekmatyar added.

A spokesman for the Peace and Moderation election ticket led by former National Security Advisor Mohammad Haneef Atmar said they are working on a plan to get the support of other teams in the upcoming elections.

“We have started efforts to convince other teams to join our ticket,” said Qadir Shah, a spokesman for the Peace and Moderation team.

Hekmatyar, meanwhile, warned that if the party’s demands were not considered regarding the presidential elections, he will make a decision about his participation in the polls.