No system acceptable except republic: Afghan MPs

KABUL (Tolo News): Reacting to the rumors about the establishment of an interim government in Afghanistan as a result of a peace negotiation talks, lawmakers in Afghanistan’s parliament on Wednesday said that no political system will be acceptable for the Afghan people except a republic system.

However, some other members of the parliament said that the current system in Afghanistan cannot be taken as a democratic system in the view of the government’s dictatorial approach, stating that President Ashraf Ghani acts like a sultan instead of a democratic president. “If they have seen the dream of an interim government, this will remain only in their imagination,” said MP Abdul Naseer Farahi.

“If someone wants to debate about the interim government or they want an interim government, they are committing an act of treason against the country,” said MP Shapor Hassanzoi. “The voice of an interim government can be heard from the tribune of the US’s foreign policy,” said Fazel Karim Aimaq, MP.

Some other members meanwhile accused Ghani of acting like a dictator. They said that Ghani does not value democratic principles. “The next principle of a democracy is the separation of the pillars of power, but Mr. Ghani has risen up like a sultan,” said MP Habiburrahman Pedram.

“Defying the parliament–one of the pillars of the system itself–poses a serious threat to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” said MP Abdul Qayoum Sajjadi. This comes after Ghani last week in an interview with CNN said that he wants to transfer the power to his successor or in a legal and peaceful manner. “If the objective of the Taliban is to dominate and give us the peace of the grave, that will have very negative consequences,” Ghani said.

“My basic goal is to be able to hand power, through the will of the people, to my elected successor. This is crucial to enable us to honor the sacrifice of our civilians, our activists, and others,” Ghani said. “One thing needs to be clear; the Afghan society is not willing to go back and we’re not a type of society that the Taliban-type approach of the past can be imposed on us. That was the peace of the graveyard. We want a positive peace where all of us together overcome our past, embrace each other and together rebuild an Afghanistan that can be what I call a roundabout (regional hub).” Rumors about the interim government were also debated in a session of the Meshrano Jirga.

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad discussed the prospect of an interim government in Afghanistan as a result of the peace process, said sources close to the Afghan politicians who recently met Khalilzad. According to the sources familiar with the process, Khalilzad in his meetings with the Afghan politicians apparently talked about three options: First, the continuation of the present government and the inclusion of the Taliban in the govt. Second, the inclusion of the government in the structure of a Taliban-led government. Third, the option to establish an interim and inclusive government.

However, on Wednesday the US chargé d’affaires in Kabul, Ross Wilson, on Twitter wrote that the US is ‘not advocating’ an interim government in Afghanistan. “We have not advocated, and the US is not advocating, an interim government. The outcomes of Afghanistan peace negotiations are up to Afghans and we believe those outcomes should reflect the wishes and aspirations of the Afghan people,” Wilson said.

He also said that the US is committed to “bringing about an end to conflict in Afghanistan through a political settlement that ensures this country remains sovereign, unified and democratic, is at peace with itself and its neighbors and can preserve gains made over the last 19 years.” “The first phase of Afghanistan peace negotiations in Doha constituted an important step forward, but much remains to be done,” Wilson said, adding “the US remains firm in its call for an immediate reduction of violence and ceasefire,” he wrote.

Wilson also mentioned that he had spoken with the US peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, and they “will continue to talk with Afghans about the need to accelerate the talks in Doha” and will solicit ideas and concerns” of Afghans.