Documents obtained by Ariana News show that President Ashraf Ghani has meddled in October parliamentary elections in favor of a particular candidate.
Based on the obtained documents, the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission had asked the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) to provide information about parliamentary candidates with criminal convictions.
In between, AGO had declared Mirza Khan Katawazai – a parliamentary candidate who secured a seat in Wolesi Jirga in last year’s elections – with no criminal background.
Later, the Attorney General’s Office in a letter reveals that it has made a mistake while assessing candidates with criminal convictions and that Katawazai is being sentenced to five years in prison.
Another document affiliated to AGO indicates that Katawazai was sentenced to prison by court in 2016. But three years later, during parliamentary elections in October last year, he was arrested by intelligence operatives at Hairatan port in northern Balkh province.
However, according to the document, days later President Ghani instead of implementing the court’s verdict on Katawazai has verbally ordered the Attorney General’s Office to free him.
Thereafter, Katawazai has not served his five years in prison, and he is currently free and on top of the list of voting for Paktika province.
The Presidential Palace, Katawazai and the former commissioners of the IECC did not respond in this regard despite Ariana News’ attempts.