The Afghan Taliban has rejected President Ashraf Ghani’s proposal to hold new elections in Afghanistan later this year.
President Ashraf Ghani has not released details of his proposal to hold early elections. However, two Afghan government officials say they will announce their election plans at a conference of Afghan parties in Turkey next month.
With this new proposal, Ashraf Ghani has in fact tried to challenge the previously proposed US plan. The US had proposed the formation of an interim government after the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan, in which the Taliban Russia also expressed support for the proposal.
“The government will go to Turkey with a pre-election plan. This is a fair plan for Afghanistan’s future,” a senior Afghan official told International news agency.
But the Taliban immediately rejected President Ashraf Ghani’s proposal. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said: “In the past, such actions (elections) have brought the country to the brink of various crises.”
“Now they are talking about a process that has always been based on the scandal. Any decision on the future of the country should be taken in the ongoing talks between the two sides in Doha,” he said. ”
The United States, Russia and the other side in the conflict want an interim government in Afghanistan, while President Ashraf Ghani says power should be handed over to an elected government, so he has been pushing for new elections.
On the other hand, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s co-founder and deputy leader, told a conference in Moscow last week that “Afghans should be allowed to decide their own destiny.”
The United States is required to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by May 1 under an agreement reached with the Taliban in Doha in February last year. However, President Joe Biden said earlier this month that it was “difficult” to meet that deadline.
Under the agreement, the Afghan government and the Taliban have been holding talks in Doha since September last year. They will set up a system to run the country in the future, but so far no significant progress has been made.
Ahead of the Taliban’s response, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a NATO meeting that Washington was still considering whether to withdraw its troops from the war-torn country before the May 1 deadline.