KABUL (Pajhwok): A presidential candidate has been emphasizing on the establishment of a Taliban-style government in Afghanistan, while others support the current Islamic republic system.
Initially eighteen figures jumped into the presidential race, but later Zalmai Rassoul and Shaida Mohammad Abdali joined Ashraf Ghani’s ticket while Mohammad Hanif Atmar suspended his electioneering.
Sayed Noorullah Jalili, one of the candidates, said that he would change the government system from Islamic republic to Islamic Emirate if he won the September 28 election.
Jalili is the only candidate who says he would change the government system for bringing about peace and stability to the country.
“Islamic Emirate is the system of our prophets and Islamic caliphs, republic is the system that is created by humans, if I become the president, I will soon organize a Loya Jirga (grand council) for changing the Islamic republic to Islamic Emirate, we will solve the problem that the Taliban are fighting for,” he said.
Jalili said he would also recognize the Taliban if he won the poll. Other presidential candidates have not yet spoken about what system they would introduce if won.
Islamic republic is the current government system of Afghanistan which was established after the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.
However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in an interview had said, “Forming the government system after the end of occupation is the right of Afghans, it depends on our people whether they name their government Islamic republic or Islamic Emirate, name is not important but content is.”
Differences between the two government systems:
According to an article written by Mohammad Qasim in Arman-i-Milli news paper, reaching power in a republic system is only through election while the Islamic Emirate system is based on Solution and Contract Council that chooses the Emir.
The article says the power of the president is not absolute in the Islamic republic system but depends on Islamic rules, the constitution and other laws while the Emir of Islamic Emirate should follow the rules of Islam and no other laws could limit his authority.
Nazar Mohammad Mutmaen, a political expert, said that members of Solution and Contract Council were chosen based on election and they swear allegiance to the Emir.
He said Islamic Emirate had a longer historic background and all affairs under the Emirate were managed under jurisprudential orders.
As the US and Taliban talks continued, this issue intensified and government officials and political leaders called Islamic Republic a red line in talks, while others believed that the people of Afghanistan should decide in this regard.
It is worth mentioning that talks between the US and the Taliban have been suspended after nine rounds in Qatar.
Stress over protection of current system:
President Ashraf Ghani has often stressed over the survival of the existing system and says: “To hold yourself and others accountable is not possible without a republic system. Our honour and dignity is embodied in democracy.”
Second Vice President Sarwar Danish has also urged continuation of the current system and said Constitution, protection of the past 18 years achievements and national dignity are red lines in peace talks and there will be no compromise on these.
Mohammad Younis Qanoni, a senior leader of Jamiat-i-Islami, also favors the republic system and says peace in Afghanistan should not result into the revival of Islamic Emirate. He added that changes in contradiction to constitution were not acceptable during peace talks.
In addition, according to an opinion poll last month, 84 percent residents of Kabul voted against Islamic Emirate. The survey was conducted by PAIK News agency.
People should decide:
Political affairs expert Nazar Mohammad Motmain told Pajhwok Afghan News that change in the system did not belong to a person or election candidate, but the people should decide which system best suits Afghanistan.
He said a system should be formulated which could best serve the people and society.
“It is possible that Jalili might have made such comments in order to attract vote from Taliban sympathizers,” he said.
Syed Akbar Agha, another expert and former Taliban leader, said that changing the system was not the prerogative of an individual, adding that such moves should take place according to the wishes of eligible voters.
Abdul Subhan Mesbah, deputy head of Lawyers Union, also termed changing the system the authority of public and added that Jalili comments were aimed at luring sympathizers of Islamic Emirates.
Mesbah, who is a pro republic, said change in the system required a referendum and it was not the authority of one individual.
Pajhwok Afghan News reached Jalili’s aide Hogai to get his view point about his comment regarding change to the system from republic to Islamic Emirate but he did not turn up despite a long wait.
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