Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

Hekmatyar Proposes Simultaneous Polls in 2014

Hekmatyar Proposes Simultaneous Polls in 2014

KABUL - The leader of the 'Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan on Saturday proposed simultaneous presidential, parliamentary and provincial council election in the first half of 2014.

Eng. Gulbadin Hekmatyar has floated the proposal in a message addressed to 60 political figures. A copy of the three-page message, written in Pakhto seeking feedback on the suggestion, was also made available to Pajhwok Afghan News.

The country is faced with a crisis similar to the chaotic situation of 1990s, according to the HIA leader, who wrote the US and allies were tired of the war. They could not afford to suffer any more losses of life and cash, he said.

As some countries planned Afghanistan's division, others sought to pave the ground for a new civil strife, Hekmatyar alleged. He claimed efforts were being made to push Pakistan, Iran, India and Russia into the conflict.

While fearing Afghanistan could plunge into an unexpected disaster after 2014, when NATO-led troops are scheduled to leave, he suggested a string of measures to prevent a possible civil war.

Hekmatyar, stressing the need for an intra-Afghan understanding, said the presence of foreign forces meant nothing, but war. The outsiders were driven solely by their own interests, not Afghans' demands and priorities, he insisted.

The fugitive warned the present system would not survive beyond the withdrawal of NATO-led soldiers, because the West -- itself caught in serious financial trouble -- could not shore it up.

The HIA chief called for an immediate end to the war, saying: "There should be a change of the government that is acceptable to all sides. The proposed regime should have its writ across the country. No part should be controlled by warlords and strongmen."

He backed free, fair, transparent and simultaneous parliamentary, presidential and provincial council polls. However, he rejected the current electoral strategy as flawed, problematic, unfair and inconsistent with the ground realities in Afghanistan.

The former prime minister, opposing the high election fees, also voiced his aversion to a large number of political parties -- something that damaged national unity. He asked for an electoral alliance of small regional parties or their merger into large parties.

Hekmatyar believed the first set-up after the election should be a coalition government, with each party having a share based on the number of seats it has won. The parties getting less than 10 percent of votes should be barred from next elections, the message said.

Every citizen must be conscripted for a year, because Afghanistan being an impoverished country could not afford to fund the needs of a 350,000-strong army, he concluded. (Pajhwok)