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Ghani’s Pre-election Campaign

Feature: Ghani’s Pre-election Campaign

Recently, President Ashraf Ghani has been busy in pre-election campaign. He carried out some promotional programs in the past year, and has set up provincial trips for the purpose of campaigning ahead of presidential election in the recent days as well. In his trips he is seen inaugurating large infrastructure projects that, according to many experts, are impractical and, by giving impractical dreams to the people of each province, is actually carrying out a massive election campaign. Therefore, all political leaders and experts doubt that Ashraf Ghani is in favor of holding a transparent election.
Ashraf Ghani made expensive visits to Khost, Herat, Badghis and some other provinces and kept on inaugurating new initiatives that will most probably see no development. However, in each visit, he carried a high-level delegation with him that required a great deal of spending. Moreover, the actual expenditures were made to ensure security during these trips. And for all these expenditures, government finances were used, which, otherwise, should have been used for the welfare of the people.
Recently, Ashraf Ghani, with a high-level government delegation, went to Kandahar province, wherein he attended a ceremony and changed the name of Kandahar International Airport to “Ahmad Shah Baba”. The presidential office newsletter revealed that the president also inaugurated several other projects during the visit. There is no clarity about the purpose of these projects and they do not fall under any strategic approach. They are mostly for the temporary purpose of changing the opinion of the people in Ghani’s favor.
The Presidential Candidate Council has repeatedly warned President Ghani not to use government facilities for election campaigns. The members of the council even demanded that President Ghani should step down as his tenure has ended as per the constitution of the country, and as per the agreement that formed National Unity Government (NUG). Nevertheless, Ghani has managed a court decree in his favor that has given order that he may continue as the president of the country till the presidential election.
Nonetheless, people expect that political movements, media institutions and civil society organizations should stand against these electoral campaigns, so that the Presidential Palace should avoid using the power and wealth of the state and the assistance of the global community for its interests.
Ashraf Ghani, on many occasions, has ensured that he is preventing the government from interfering in the electoral institutions and calling for transparent and fair elections in the country, but there is a great deal of evidence that show that he has kept on interfering in election institutions and has started election campaign way ahead of time. Even more disturbing is the fact that he has been using the public funds for his self-centered incentives.
Ghani, in addition to providing large sum of money in many provinces to gain support himself, now his supporters are active in these provinces and are organizing a program for the “state-run” team. On the other hand, he has been conducting large-scale dismissals in some provinces that he thinks will not vote for him. Some provincial officials have been dismissed and replaced in Balkh and Herat already for the same purpose.
If the situation continues likewise, there is no doubt that there will be no reliable election that is expected. Any interference in future election issues will lead the country to a crisis, and no one will benefit from such a situation, except the enemies of the country.
(Sahar News)

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