News - Afghanistan
Political party leaders endorsed Balkh provincial governor Ata Mohammed Noor as a possible presidential candidate Sunday while warning of a looming political crisis if more is not done to prevent fraud in next year's presidential election.
At a conference hosted by Noor, the leaders said they would support him if he ran as a candidate in the 2014 presidential election.
"Mohammad Noor is young and has the talent for it," National Islamic Movement chief Gen. Abdurrasheed Dostom said.
Others present at the conference included National Front head Ahmad Zia Massoud, Islamic Unity Party leader Haji Mohammad Mohaqeq, and former intelligence chief Amrullah Salih.
"We are in contact and agreed for every issue related to the nation. We assure that Afghanistan's National Front will fight for people's rights to the very end," Massoud said.
When asked if he will nominate himself for the 2014 presidential election, Noor told TOLOnews, "We will see. If Afghanistan goes towards more problems, the candidates are not from the people, if they don't have a social base, or if they fail to resolve people's problems, in that case I will nominate myself."
The political leaders emphasised that a fair and transparent election was paramount and any perceived fraud could destabilise the entire government. They called for reforms to the election structure and, specifically, for the old voting cards and registrations to be annulled and new cards distributed.
"We are in a phase of history in which those in power have a very sensitive role in fate of the people of Afghanistan," party chief Ahmad Zia Massoud told those at the conference. "They (the government) shouldn't deceive us. They should let people of Afghanistan elect their political leader by their votes."
Islamic Unity Party chief said that people will not accept any fraud.
"Everybody is concerned that if the elections are not acceptable by the people of Afghanistan, there will be no peace in the country. A fraudulent election will not be accepted by the people and it will lead to lack of security and no sustainability," Mohammad Mohaqqeq said in his address.
Dostom joined the two leaders in calling for transparency.
"God willing, we hope there will be security, peace, and grounds ready for a transparent election," he said.
Noor and Dustom also addressed accusations against them of land-grabbing, saying that people in the government were spreading these things to politically undermine them.
"We didn't expect this from the government. We yelled so hard saying give (your votes) to Mr. Karzai. We told Pashtuns, Uzbeks, and Kandaharis to vote for Mr. Karzai, but we didn't expect him to accuse us of a betrayal to the nation," Dostom said.
The leaders also said that the government's "surrender" towards the Taliban has led to an increase of insecurity everyday which might cause problems in carrying out the elections.