Although based on the Elections Law, government officials have not been given the right to campaign for election candidates, but footages show two ministers from President Ghani’s cabinet announce their support to a parliamentary election contender from Paktia.
Razia Mangal is an MP from Paktia in the Wolesi Jirga, the Afghan parliament, and a candidate from the province.
The footages portray the Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz and Agriculture Minister Nasir Ahmad Durrani who appreciate Mangal’s activities and ask the people to vote for her.
The footages have been posted on social media as part of Mangal’s electoral campaigns and are being circulated widely by social media users.
“Razia Mangal is a talented lawmaker who has always supported the Public Health Ministry,” Feroz says in the video. “She has not only helped the ministry, but has also put pressure on us to improve our activities, especially in Paktia and in its hospitals.”
In the video, Durrani calls on people to vote for Mangal as according to him she is an eligible person.
“I as the agriculture minister urge you, my countrymen, to vote for our respected sister Razia Mangal,” Durrani says in the video.
In reaction to the footage, the agriculture minister said he has not campaigned for any candidate.
“She (Mangal) got a clip (from me) at least one year ago and on that time when there was no campaigns. I said she is a strong lawmaker and the reason was that she was getting projects for the people,” said Durrani when he addressed an event in Nangarhar on Monday.
Head of the office of public health minister said the footage was recorded last year in Paktia when they were inaugurating a hospital and that it has nothing to do with electoral campaigns.
Based on Article 98 of Elections Law, no government official shall campaign for a candidate and candidates shall not use government facilities for their campaigns.
The Independent Election Commission said the clips in the footages are against the Elections Law and that they will investigate the issue.
The IEC officials said what the ministers have done is “an obvious violation of the law” and that they will be treated based on the law.
An electoral monitoring organization said no government official should campaign in favor of a candidate.
“No government official has the right to campaign for a candidate or define a candidate as a good person,” said Sughra Sadat, spokesperson for Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan.