Former NDS chief and a vice-presidential candidate Amrullah Saleh on Tuesday said that the upcoming presidential election is the only biggest legitimate legal event which has sparked “strong fear” among the Taliban.
“The elections will push the Taliban towards isolation,” Saleh said.
He said that the protection of the democratic system, the Constitution of Afghanistan and human rights are among the Afghan government’s red lines in the peace talks and that no foreign power will be allowed to decide on it.
“If the Taliban are looking to get on their objectives through peaceful way and attain the support of the people, they have to enter into direct talks, something they don’t want to do. Why they are not prepared for? Because the Taliban is afraid of the elections. The Taliban are afraid of the Constitution. They do not have a place among the people,” Saleh said.
“The president [Ashraf Ghani] is thoroughly pursuing the issue of elections and he donates part of his time so that the election can be held. The environment in the country should be the environment of elections, and also the candidates have the responsibility to organize the elections for all, but the important thing is manipulation should be prevented,” Saleh added.
He said that Ghani’s campaign will “never” violate the law during the election campaigns.
Critics in the past have constantly said that Ghani’s team was misusing government resources to for a comeback to power.
“Electoral teams have started pre-election campaigns. They are using the government resources and exploit the people,” said Yusuf Rasheed, CEO of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan.
“Campaigns have already started, but the mechanism has changed. There are provincial trips, there are social media platforms. The electoral teams are trying to do campaigns. Why these commissions are not focusing on this? This is a question,” said Naeem Ayoubzada, head of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan.