News - Afghanistan
The National Coalition of Afghanistan (NCA) revealed on Wednesday that a meeting was held at the Presidential Palace last week, under the chairmanship of President Hamid Karzai, in which Abdurrab Rasoul Sayyaf was put forth as the favored candidate for next spring's election.
The meeting was attended by Marshal Fahim, First Vice-President; Atta Muhammad Noor, Governor of Balkh province; Abdurrab Rasoul Sayyaf, head of Dawat-e-Islami Party; and Muhammad Ismail, Minister of Water and Energy.
Reportedly, President Karzai took the opportunity to endorse Mr. Sayyaf and encourage those present at the meeting to extend their support for him as well. All except Mr. Noor are said to have agreed to extend support to Sayyaf for a presidential bid.
"According to our information, a meeting was held last week at the Presidential Palace under the chairmanship of President Karzai. The President urged the participants to back Abdurrab Rasoul Sayyaf in the upcoming elections. All announced their support for Sayyaf except the Balkh governor," said Syed Fazel Sancharaki, spokesman of the NCA.
Meanwhile, Dawood Kalakani, a member of the Dawat-e-Islami Party, confirmed the meeting at the Presidential Palace. However, he said that the nomination of Mr. Sayyaf as a Presidential candidate for the upcoming Presidential vote was not discussed. Mr. Kalakani added that Mr. Sayyaf only talked about holding a meeting in Kabul to review preparations for the upcoming elections.
"I confirm that a meeting was held at the Presidential Palace, but I do not agree with the reports regarding the nomination of Abdurrab Sayyaf as a Presidential candidate. In the meeting, Ustad Sayyaf talked about holding a grand meeting in Kabul," Mr. Kalani said.
Marshal Fahim, the First Vice President, and Muhammad Ismail, Minister of Water and Energy, have reportedly endorsed Karzai's choice of Mr. Sayyaf, but the Balkh Governor chose to maintain silence over the matter.
Additionally, the President's office confirmed the meeting, but said that President Karzai has not announced his support for any specific candidate as of yet.