The Supreme Court of Afghanistan has approved the extension of President Ashraf Ghani’s tenure until the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for September 28.
Based on the Constitution, Ghani’s tenure ends on May 22.
“In line with the provision of the law and with the consideration of the situation of the country and based on the jurisprudential rules, the tenure of the president and his deputies is endorsed until the presidential elections,” the Supreme Court said in a directive.
A number of presidential candidates described the court’s decision in defiance to the spirit of the law and accuse the president of “suppressing” democracy.
“It is completely a political decision. It is a decision which was taken on the demand of the Afghan government,” said Faramarz Tamanna, a presidential candidate.
“First of Jawza (May 22) is a crucial issue. I hope that the government opens a wider debate on it so that we can have a political solution to the matter,” said Shaida Mohammad Abdali, a presidential candidate.
Based on Article 61 of the Constitution, the legal tenure of the National Unity Government under President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah ends on May 22. Previously, presidential elections were scheduled to be held on April 20 but the elections were delayed two times.
Ghani in many occasions has reiterated that he will not remain in the post even one day after his legal tenure ends.
“Mr. (Abdulbadi) Sayyad (former head of the election commission) and his colleagues will announce the (elections) date,” said Ghani in an address to a gathering in January. “I am not interested in remaining in this post even for one day without the will of the people,” he added.