Members of the Council of Presidential Candidates which represents 13 presidential runners on Wednesday said President Ashraf Ghani’s term has ended and that they will begin civil disobedience as an option to show their opposition against the continuation of the current government.
Based on Article 62 of the Constitution, May 22 marks the end of the National Unity Government’s legal term. However, the Supreme Court in April extended the incumbent government’s tenure until upcoming presidential elections scheduled for September 28.
The candidates said they have asked their supporters, including government employees, in Kabul and other provinces to start civil disobedience against Ghani.
Shahab Hakimi, a presidential candidate and media coordinator of the council, said the civil disobedience and rallies will begin within the next few days.
“The presidential candidates have informed all their supporters across the country and based on the plan which has been distributed to all of them, they will start their civic movements such as rallies, conferences and civil disobedience. These moves will be started not only by the people, but also by those who are in government,” Hakimi said. “The moves will not be conducted in contravention of the law.”
Faramarz Tamanna, another presidential candidate and member of the council, said Mr. Ghani has committed “a coup against the people” by remaining in power.
“Presence of President Ghani at the Presidential Palace even for a minute after the term mentioned in the Constitution is a coup against the Afghan people, against Afghanistan’s Constitution and against this new democracy,” Tamanna said.
Following the warnings by the candidates, many roads in downtown Kabul were closed to traffic.
“Today, Kabul residents were disturbed. We expect the government to pay attention in creating a legitimate administration,” said Qadir Shah, a spokesman for presidential candidate Mohammad Haneef Atamr’s team.
Despite this, Ghani’s deputy spokesman Shahussain Murtazawi published a to-do list of the president on his Facebook on Wednesday morning and wrote that the head of the state will continue his job as usual.