KABUL (Pajhwok): Mohammad Hanif Atmar on Tuesday announced opting out of the September 28 presidential vote, saying he would not join any electoral team.
Eighteen runners were on the list of candidates announced by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in April. But Zalmai Rassoul and Shaida Abdali later joined Ashraf Ghani’s camp.
A statement from his electoral team said Atmar would not run for the presidency due to the absence of the right technical, political and security conditions for holding a transparent and inclusive vote.
“We have repeatedly suggested the election should be postponed for a few months to enable the government, political leaders and civil society to work together for created the required conditions for election transparency.
“The election delay will also make the peace process a success but, unfortunately, no one listened to our demand,” the statement said.
“The election process will end in the next few days. I believe in election as a national and democratic process and respect people’s to vote. I will not contest the election on September 28,” Atmar said.
“However, I will remain a candidate if the ballot was postponed. I will stay neutral and won’t join any ticket in this election,” he was was quoted as saying in the statement.
“As a citizen of this country and die to my love for the people, I will always stand with allies and friends for justice, democracy and responsible governance. We will continue efforts for peace,” he added.
A day earlier, a number of politicians underlined the need for peace negotiations and expressed their concern over possible fraud in the presidential election.