Pajhwok Afghan News

Khost residents warn elections boycott if demands unmet

KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Nearly five thousand people on Friday held a gathering in southeastern Khost province and warned to boycott future elections if the government did not meet their demands.

They presented their demands including turning the Ghulam Khan road into a transit trade route, internationalizing the Sheikh Zayed University, timely transfer of electricity, upgrading Khost into first grade province and government posts.

One of the speakers, Maulvi Mohammad Daud Waqafi, said they were not against the regime, but they wanted President Ashraf Ghani to translate into action his election pledges with the people of Khost.

“President Ghani reached the power with the votes of Khost people who cast him more votes than in any other provinces. However, the president is yet to respond to our single demand. We regret it.”

Speaking on the occasion, Wolesi Jirga member from Khost Humayun Humayun said the unity government had completed half its term, but it had failed to honour a single out of many promises held out to the people of Khost.

The lawmaker warned if the president did not listen to their voice, they would not only boycott future elections but would also carry out protests.

“The people of Khost polled half a million votes to Ashraf Ghani and the entire Loya Paktia cast him more than one million votes, but he trampled on the rights of Khost people the day US Secretary John Kerry brokered the unity government deal,” he said.

He asked the president not to disrespect the votes of Khost people. He said if people could vote someone to power, they could deprive him of power as well.

“If people can vote someone to reach power, they can with their voice and votes snatch power from him,” the Wolesi Jirga member said.

Tribal elder Dr. Sher Baz Zadran said the unity government leaders instead of serving the people were fighting over government seats.  He said if the government leaders lacked the ability to do service to the people, they should hand over power to someone else.

“Power-sharing was the president’s big mistake that gave birth to many problems. If the president does not accept our demand, he should hand over the power to someone else.”

The gathering participants through issuing a resolution letter warned of boycotting upcoming parliamentary and future presidential elections if their demands were not considered.


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