Afghanistan’s former minister of interior Gen. Noorul Haq Ulumi, who also leads a newly established political party, Afghanistan People’s National Front (Jabha-e-Milli Mardum-e-Afghanistan), on Wednesday entered the race for 2019 presidential elections.
Ulumi was born on August 1941 in Kandahar province in the south of Afghanistan. He graduated from the University of Kabul in 1966. Ulumi trained for his future military career in both the United States and the former Soviet Union. He was made the new governor of Kandahar by President Najibullah. In 2005, he was a lawmaker from Kandahar and he served as minister of interior for almost one year in 2005.
Bashir Ahmad Bezhan, head of Kabul Attendants, an civil society organization, analyst and journalist in profession, and Mohammad Naeem Ghayur are his running mates. Bezhan unsuccessfully ran for president in 2009 elections. He also ran for parliamentary elections.
Addressing reporters at the Independent Election Commission (IEC), Ulumi said he has serious concerns about government’s attempt to meddle in the process – something government has persistently rejected.
Ulumi vowed to closely monitor activities of the IEC with the help of his team.
“We will fight seriously to ensure that presidential elections are held transparently in Afghanistan. we also expect the people of Afghanistan to ensure their sincere participation and their contribution must have a positive impact on Afghanistan,” he said.
“It is now proven to us that the government has kind of engagement in this respect. Even they (government) has destroyed the sovereignty of the independent election commission,” said Ulumi.
On November 2015, lawmakers in Afghanistan‘s Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament) refrained from going for a no-confidence motion against Ulumi, who was summoned over the country's deteriorating security situation.
Ulumi’s first running mate Bashir Ahmad Bezhan is a political analyst and journalist who was a candidate in Afghanistan's 2009 presidential elections.
The IEC is expecting more candidates to register in the coming days.
“The independent election commission will continue the process of registration of candidates till 30 Jaddi (20 January),” said IEC commissioner, Sayed Hafiz Hashemi.