The Presidential Palace on Saturday reacted to the launch of the new political coalition and said members who are part of this alliance need to resign from government.
Nabi Misdaq, an advisor to President Ashraf Ghani said First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, second deputy of the Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Mohaqiq and acting foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani should resign from their positions if they remain in the coalition.
“Dostum went to Turkey for (medical) treatment and now he is back and should continue his job. What do they want to achieve? By being in government and in the coalition? The same with Salahuddin Rabbani. First, he is the leader of a party and should not have a job in government, but he has. Although he is in government, he did not participate at the first meeting of Kabul Process. Representatives from 37 countries attended the meeting, but the foreign minister did not,” said Misdaq.
Misdaq said there had been an issue with Mohaqiq late last year after he returned from Iran. Misdaq said his remarks at a gathering in Tehran over Syria’s war – where he praised Iran and Afghan fighters – had led to the president wanting to fire him. However, according to Misdaq, CEO Abdullah Abdullah and Second Vice President Sarwar Danish stepped in andasked Ghani not to do so.
Members of the new coalition, known as the Grand National Coalition of Afghanistan, meanwhile said the National Unity Government was established by such coalitions and that government leaders should not see such coalitions as a threat.
“The Afghan government itself is formed by coalitions. The president and CEO both came from the electoral coalitions. I don’t know why they see their interests at risk in the presence of such coalitions. We have very important processes ahead and we are not satisfied with the current situation and political parties and political streams cannot remain indifferent atsuch a time,” Bashir Ahmad Tayyanj, a member of the Islamic National Movement of Afghanistan said.
Meanwhile a number of legal experts said the involvement of government employees in such a coalition was illegal.
“The president, CEO and the Council of Ministers and other government department officials act outside of the legal framework and do not obey the law. Thus, when a coalition is formed and the Vice President and CEO’s deputy join the coalition, it is a natural act for them,” Gul Ahmad Madadzai, deputy head of Afghanistan’s Lawyers Union said.
Discussions on the establishment of a political coalition started in Turkey when Dostum was in exile.
But since his return to Afghanistan last week, he has not participated in government meetings nor has he had a meeting with the president.
The Grand National Coalition of Afghanistan was launched on Thursday at a gathering in Kabul that was attended by high-ranking government officials and political leaders including Dostum, Mohaqiq, Rabbani and Atta Mohammad Noor, the former governor of Balkh province.