In response to recent appointments made by President Ashraf Ghani, the Council of Presidential Candidates on Sunday accused Ghani of “bullying and violating the laws of the country”.
They said that recent appointments and dismissals in the government indicate that Ghani had no respect for the laws.
In a new move, Ghani appointed Abdul Tawab Balakarzai as Acting Minister of Higher Education, but the move sparked a strong backlash from his critics, mainly those facing Ghani in the upcoming presidential elections.
“The former president (incumbent President Ashraf Ghani) has come to know it now that his government is an illegal government and he has no option except to resort on bullying,” said presidential candidate Shahab Hakimi.
“There should be no political motives behind any decision. All undertakings need to be carried as a normal governing procedure; therefore, all presidential candidates and politicians who have their own reservations and criticisms, need to be very serious about the issue,” said Senate’s Deputy Speaker Mohammad Alam Ezedyar.
But, Ghani’s spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said that recent appointments and dismissals were part of the authorities of the president and that it was a legal move.
“The president cannot put hand on hand or refrain from doing daily works until the elections and the mandate of the next president. Delivering services to the public is part of the responsibilities of the government until last working day,” Chakhansuri said at a press conference on Sunday.
The Council of Presidential Candidates on Tuesday warned that they will use “any option” against the incumbent government if President Ashraf Ghani does not leave his office on May 22 or if he does not reach a political consensus with the Afghan politicians about the end of his tenure.
Based on Article 62 of the Constitution, May 22 marks the end of the National Unity Government’s legal term. The presidential candidates called on Ghani to respect the Constitution.
The presidential elections are scheduled to be held on September 28 after two times delay while it had to be held in April based on a previous schedule. The candidates suggest a caretaker government which according to them will prevent the power gap.
The Stability and Partnership election team led by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in a statement on Thursday said that based on the Constitution the term of the National Unity Government (NUG) has ended and that the presidential candidates and political parties should talk to resolve the disagreements raised in this regard.
The team said the Constitution has clearly mentioned the government's tenure and that the issues raised by other candidates need to be discussed.
“The Stability and Partnership team sees the questions about the continuation of National Unity Government negotiable and agrees with part of concerns raised by presidential candidates and political parties,” the statement reads.