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Presidential Candidates Warn of Boycotting Upcoming Elections

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(Last Updated On: June 15, 2019)

A group of presidential candidates announced on Saturday that more than ten of them will not participate in the upcoming presidential elections if President Ghani remains in power before holding the election.

The candidates added that their electoral tickets and their supports will boycott the upcoming presidential elections if an interim government is not formed before the upcoming election.

However, no measures have been taken to solve the tensions between the presidential candidates and President Ghani yet.

Previously, the Presidential Palace announced that Ghani is ready to negotiate with the candidates but the candidates rejected to discuss their demands in the Presidential Place.

Shahab Hakimi, a presidential candidate said that the protesting candidates will boycott the election if their demands were not met before the election day.

The opposing candidates claim that President Ghani is misusing the government facilities and government’s budget for his electoral campaigns and has started opening electoral offices in the provinces.

In addition, they claim that President Ghani gathers supporters by making new appointments in the high-ranking government positions. They accuse Ghani of predesigning the presidential elections through intervening in the Independent Elections Commission’s affairs.

“The elections should be transparent and the government should not try to monopolize the upcoming elections for its own benefits,” said Sheida Mohammad Abdali, a presidential candidate.

However, the Presidential Palace claims that President Ghani has directed all government offices not to interfere in the election affairs. Moreover, Ghani has neither stepped down of the power nor his authorities have been reduced.

“It is illegal if anyone wants to use the government facilities for his/her personal benefits,” said Abdulqadir Qalatwal, an MP from Zabul province.

So far, the presidential candidates have warned of staging protests against the government but none of their supporters have come on the streets for demonstration yet.

The candidates say that they have completed their plans for launching the protests in coming days.

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Tehran blames Israel for the killing of Iranian scientist

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(Last Updated On: November 27, 2020)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, in a tweet blamed Israel for the killing of a senior Iranian nuclear scientist.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in an ambush near Tehran on Friday, Reuters reported.

“This cowardice – with serious indications of Israeli role – shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. “Iran calls on int’l community – and especially EU – to end their shameful double standards and condemn this act of state terror.”

The military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to strike back against the Fakhrizadeh’s killers, who died of gunshot wounds in hospital after armed assassins opened fire on his car, state media reported.

Israel did not comment on reports of the attack.

According to a Reuters report Fakhrizadeh has long been described by Western countries as a leader of a covert atomic bomb programme halted in 2003, which Israel and the United States accuse Tehran of trying to restore in secret. Iran has long denied seeking to weaponise nuclear energy.

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America’s security is not hinged on the number of troops on the ground: Pompeo

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(Last Updated On: November 27, 2020)

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said earlier this week that the threat from terrorist attacks around the world does not emanate from Afghanistan alone.

Speaking to Fox News, Pompeo said: “The threat from terrorism around the world – from Islamic extremism, Islamic terrorism – is real. It doesn’t just emanate from Afghanistan.”

Asked about the drawdown of US troops in Afghanistan he said Washington would get all its soldiers home when the time is right.

He said in the interview that people should not “fall in the trap of thinking about America’s security related to the number of soldiers on the ground in any one place. We have the force posture right today.

“We’re going to keep it right. We’ll get our troops home when we can, and we’ll do the things we need to do.

“If Qasem Soleimani is a problem, we’ll go crush them. If Hamza bin Ladin presents a risk, we’ll take him out,” Pompeo said.

He also stated the outgoing-President Donald Trump has been very clear about the US protecting and securing America but added “we’re not going to have our young men and women in harm’s way when it doesn’t deliver real security benefits for the United States and for our allies.”

Pompeo also said Trump will still make the decision on whether to withdraw all troops – despite having said the numbers will reduce by next month from around 4,000 to 2,500.

He said the agreement the US signed with the Taliban in February talked about getting down to zero by May based on a set of conditions on the ground.

“That was what we’d agreed to. We have made some progress. We’ve had significant prisoner releases. We have violence levels that have reduced risks to Americans significantly over this time period since February of last year.” Pompeo stated.

He pointed out however that Afghanistan’s violence levels are still higher than they need to be.

“I was with the Afghan Government negotiators and with the Taliban negotiators just this past weekend in Dota, Qatar.

“I talked to each of them about the need to continue to conduct the negotiations which will lead to a unified, independent Afghanistan that protects all the gains that have been made over these past years, and the fact that they need to take violence levels down even further, and that the Taliban need to honor the commitment they made to make sure that there’s not a terror attack that takes place from Afghan soil.

“Those are the parts of the negotiation that continue. There is still work to do, but we’re headed in the right direction.

“We are safer here in the United States today as a result of the things the Trump administration has done not only in Afghanistan but throughout that region,” he said.

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Contradictory statements on developments in peace talks

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(Last Updated On: November 27, 2020)

Following the presidential palace’s opposition to the issues agreed upon in the Doha peace talks with the Taliban, some members of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s peace negotiating team say they are not accountable to the presidency.

“Presidential palace where the Afghan government is at the helm have their own defined competencies, and based on the agreement that has been made the negotiating delegation is accountable to the high council for national reconciliation,” said Abdul Hafiz Mansour, a member of the Afghan government peace negotiating team.

These oppositions have also raised concerns among some politicians and peace activists.

“The country changes very easily from the current situation, war can be turned into peace, betrayal to honesty, negligence into awakening, vigilance, and differences to unity,” said Qazi Mohammad Amin Waqad, former deputy head of the High Peace Council.

Sources have confirmed that after about two months of deadlock between the two negotiators on the US peace agreement with the Taliban, the UN positions and the will of the people of the country, as the basis of the negotiations, have been agreed, an agreement which not approved by President Ghani and the Taliban leadership.

“As long as Presidential palace and Sepidar Palace are not part of the people in the peace process, our nation will never reach peace,” said Hafiz-Ur-Rahman Naqi, a member of Hizb-e-Islami.

The Presidential palace has not commented on its recent stance on the peace talks. But the palace has denied any progress in the peace negotiation process.

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