Amid backlash over President Ashraf Ghani’s decision last week to start the roll out of Electronic Identify Cards (e-NIC), members of Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament) on Sunday, threw stringent criticism on the decision, saying the president launched the process without consensus being reached, at least at government level.
Meanwhile, Pierre Mayaudon, the European Union (EU) Head of Delegation to Afghanistan has called on Afghan political leaders to stay united in the face of the current circumstances in the country.
“Stay united and continue to govern until the last day of their mandate. Now we have the elections, but it should be a moment of more cohesion, more collective efforts, so that these elections are inclusive, free, fair and credible. I think this is the wish of the people of Afghanistan and the wish of European union,” he said.
He urged Afghan political leaders in the government to concentrate on their priorities including the upcoming parliamentary and district council elections.
He said cooperation and unity between the government leaders is of major importance to conduct the elections in a free, fair and legitimate manner.
CEO Abdullah Abdullah previously said the roll-out process of e-NIC had no credibility, arguing that it was launched against his will.
MPs split on presidential decision
In addition, lawmakers in parliament have said that at a time that the war is ongoing in at least 20 provinces of the country, rifts between the government leaders could further escalate the scale of threats in the country.
“Leaders of national unity government need to address issues of national importance with unity and consensus and avoid any kind of brawls and disagreement,” said first deputy of senate, speaker Mohammad Alam Ezedyar.
“Rifts between government leaders causes disagreement among Afghan society and it strengthens the enemy,” said one MP, Daud Kalakani.
What the people say
Hekmatullah is a resident of Kabul who barely manages to collect 200 Af daily to feed his family. He says it is better for government leaders to focus on the nation’s economic and security issues instead of engaging in disagreements.
“These leaders first need to settle their own issues and think about people’s security and economy instead of causing rifts,” said Hekmatullah.
“Their (government leaders) brawls could have a severe impact on the economic and security situation,” said another resident of Kabul, Tamim.
“You see the unemployment, poverty and suicides, but the leaders are still grappling with disagreements, they should resolve the people’s problems,” said one other, Mohammad Ewaz.
Spokesman for Afghan Central Civil Registration Authority (ACCRA) said: "We are working on the technical aspects to find out how to expand and help people to get access to more facilities to apply for electronic identity cards.”
This is the second time that disagreements between government leaders have emerged over policy issues.
Previously, Abdullah strongly criticized the non-implementation of the political agreement on the formation of national unity government.