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Abdullah to Critics: Don’t Exploit Loya Jirga

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    Posted: 27-Nov-2017 at 7:00pm
Abdullah urged politicians to respect the national interests of the country and avoid exploiting a Loya Jirga or early elections for political motives and fame.
Abdullah to Critics: Don’t Exploit Loya Jirga for Fame

Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah on Monday strongly criticized Afghan politicians and critics for fueling debate around a Loya Jirga and the establishment of an interim government. 

He said politicians and critics must avoid fueling such debates which they are using to exploit their own fame and political objectives.  

Among those whom Abdullah was referring to was former president Hamid Karzai – who has been a key figure in rallying for a Loya Jirga, which he said would be the best option for the country in terms of overcoming the current crisis. 

“Those who want a Loya Jirga should show restraint for a few days,” said Abdullah, referring to President Ashraf Ghani’s predecessor Karzai. 

According to Karzai and his aides, the present situation in Afghanistan is critical and they believe that holding a Loya Jirga is one way to address the crisis.  

The CEO said that the politicians must take national interests into consideration rather than dealing with issues from a political perspective.

“In the past, there has been opposition in the country, they were doing their politics, but they never tried to exploit it or suggest the downfall of the system,” Abdullah added.

Meanwhile a number of lawmakers in parliament have said that the calls for a Loya Jirga is shameful, adding that those who suggest this are in fact trying to worsen the situation in the country. 

“We should not violate the constitution whether it is Mr. Hamid Karzai or Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani,” said MP Arif Rahmani.

“There is no logic behind this Loya Jirga, those who talk about it want to move the country towards the crisis,” said MP Allah Gul Mujahid.

“Neither a constitutional Loya Jirga is right, nor is the traditional one, because it is an old thing and does not resolve our issues today,” said an MP from Badakhshan, Abdul Latif Pedram.

On November 16, the Presidential Palace (ARG) ruled out any truth in rumors of the holding of a Loya Jirga, stating that talking about Jirgas or convening unofficial Jirgas was in violation of Afghanistan’s constitution. 

“Those individuals who are rallying for a Jirga from their own standpoints, their statements have no compatibility with the prevailing laws of the country,” said Ghani’s spokesman Shahhussain Murtazawi. 

Based on the political agreement on the formation of National Unity Government (NUG), the NUG under Ghani and Abdullah committed to convene a constitutional Loya Jirga within two years to determine the office of the prime minister. But three years later, this has still not happened. 

According to Article 110 of the Constitution, the Loya Jirga is the highest manifestation of the will of the people of Afghanistan which consists of members of the National Assembly and of the provincial councils as well as district assemblies. Ministers, Chief Justices  and members of the Supreme Court as well as the attorney general would participate in a Loya Jirga session without voting rights.

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