Abdullah: No govt employee can campaign for candidates

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who also runs for president, at the Council of Ministers meeting on Monday said no government official can campaign for a certain candidate as the election campaigning began on Sunday.

Abdullah said government is not a personal property of anyone and that people will decide to use the property in a way which will benefit the country. He said government does not expect anything from public servants and that they should continue their jobs based on the law.

“No one can ask you to work in favor or against a candidate. You should pay all your focus on your duties and responsibilities,” Abdullah reiterated.

The Afghan presidential election campaign started on July 28 and will end on September 25. Eighteen candidates, including President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, are running for president. The campaign would conclude 48 hours before voting.

This comes as the United Nations mission in Afghanistan in a statement on Monday called on all candidates and their supporters to engage in a fair campaign as outlined in the Election Law, the Independent Election Commission’s Code of Conduct for the candidates and regulations enacted by the Independent Election Commission.

The presidential election campaign started on 28 July and runs through to 25 September.

As all stakeholders must work toward building trust and confidence in the election process, it is hoped that the campaigns will provide the Afghan people with sufficient information and understanding for them to exercise an informed choice for their next president, the statement said.

The media plays a particularly important role in the elections process, just as all Afghans should play their part in creating and ensuring an equitable and peaceful campaign period. Registered voters are encouraged to participate in the elections to enable the Afghan people, including women, to express their democratic will.

The UN said that all parties should be cognizant of their obligations under the law, including presidential decrees on non-interference by public officials and security forces in electoral affairs: All government officials are legally bound to separate their duties in government from campaigning or conducting themselves in a manner that would benefit specific candidates.

UNAMA in the statement said it reiterates its continued commitment and support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned election and acknowledges the efforts made by electoral management bodies, the government and other stakeholders to hold a timely, transparent and credible presidential election.(TOLOnews)