We 'Welcome' Hekmatyar's Election Participation: Governor Noor

News - Afghanistan


Balkh Governor Ata Mohammad Noor expressed his support for the potential participation of Hizb-e-Islami in the elections and said he could ally with the party to "safeguard democracy."

In an exclusive interview with TOLOnews, he said that he welcomes any party, including Hizb-e-Islami, to participate in the presidential elections.

"Even if Gulbuddin Hekmatyar participates in the elections, we will welcome the move. We are even prepared to ally with Hizb-e-Islami, or any other political party, to ensure democracy," he said.

Governor Atta Noor also named former warlord Gen. Rashid Dostum and former interior minister Hanif Atmar as potential allies in the election.

Hekmatyar is an erstwhile Jihadi commander who is leading one of the two major insurgent groups fighting against the government. He is accused of major human rights violations, but President Karzai has invited him to participate in the upcoming elections.

While Governor Atta Noor agreed with President Karzai on the call, he opposed the president's call to remove the two foreign observors from the Electoral Complains Commission (ECC).

"As Afghanistan still needs foreign support, it is necessary to have the two foreign advisors monitor the election process in the country," he said.

This comes as the Council of Ministers recently decided to remove the ECC and hand its responsibilities to the Supreme Court following months of top-level disagreements over whether the two foreign experts will be allowed to sit on its seven-person board.

The upcoming presidential election is scheduled to be held on 15 April 2014.

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