Former US envoy to Afghanistan had told me that if the HIA wins most of the Wolesi Jirga votes, they would accept their government: Hekmatyar
AVA- On the other hand, Hekmatyar demanded invalidation of all non-biometric votes cast during the Wolesi Jirga polls on October 20. He also opposed the proposed post of a chief executive for future government and said he was ready to introduce a joint electoral ticket with the Taliban.
High Peace Consultative Board (HPCB)
Talking at a press conference here, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said, “Peace is our priority and we support any efforts that take us to peace.”
He said the performance of the government showed it lacked will, capacity and plans for peace in the country and now trying to play the same game with the Taliban as it played with the HIA.
A peace agreement between Hekmatyar and the government was signed on September 23, 2017.
He said the US’s special representative for Afghan peace process, Zalmay Khalilzad had asked the Kabul government and the Taliban to introduce their authorized teams, but the government created the HPCB instead of introducing a qualified team.
He said the HPCB would only provide advises and the president would make decisions.
The government on December 11 announced the HPCB comprised of 33 members including Hekmatyar and other prominent former jihadi and political leaders. The president, his deputies, the CEO and his deputies are part of the board.
Hekmatyar said all political parties had rejected the creation of HPCB and only the government members accepted it.
“If the government really has the will for peace, then it should introduce a highly qualified team which not only provide advices but also have the decision making authority”, he said.
He said besides the president, the CEO and their deputies and parliament heads, the figures that had strong commitment for peace and opposed the war should also be included in the government’s peace team.
“The government is treating the peace process as it treated the Wolesi Jirga elections”, he said.
A number of political parties had earlier also opposed the creation of HPCB, saying they were not part of it.
Wolesi Jirga elections
Hekmatyar called the October 20 and 21 Wolesi Jirga elections as shameful and fraudulent and said the results of the polls were engineered by government officials and many winning candidates had failed and many failing candidates had succeeded by paying thousands of USD in bribe.”
“Political parties do not accept the results of the elections and they would not reverse from their position until it is fair to react,” he said.
“The Taliban taunt us that we (HIA) left war trenches for change in the country through elections but we did not reach this result, yes the government instead more empowered insurgents through these elections,” he said.
He added, “Former US envoy to Afghanistan had told me that if the HIA wins most of the Wolesi Jirga votes, they would accept their government.”
Despite widespread fraud and opposition, the HIA was able to secure most of the votes, he said, adding that the HIA candidates secured one-thirds of all votes cast.
About invalidation of Kabul votes by the Independent Electoral Cmoplaints Comission (IECC), he said his party’s opponents were behind the decision. He said most of HIA candidates from Kabul were winners.
However, the IECC has said it would review invalidation of all Kabul votes and would share their results in the next few days.
Hekmatyar said election crisis was solvable only through invalidation of non-biometric votes, otherwise the polls should be cancelled and re-conducted together with the presidential elections in 2019.
“Invalidation of non-biometric votes is the demand of all political parties and 2,300 candidates,” he said.
Hekmatyar said his party did not want to independently participate in the presidential election but wanted to have a joint ticket with other political forces.
He said the HIA met almost all possible candidates in the presidential election and leaders of the Grand National Alliance, a coalition of several political parties.
“Presence of a chief executive post in election tickets is unacceptable for the HIA and any changes in the system should be based on the Constitution and Loya Jirga”, he said.
“Our stance is very clear, we would not be in a ticket that includes CE position, we would not be in tickets who want to share power or make power islands,” he said.
Hekmatyar added he also sent a message to the Taliban to make an electoral alliance with his party. He said he was ready to meet Taliban representatives in a third country to discuss a joint ticket. He said he was awaiting the Taliban’s response.