Taliban slam Afghan President’s proposal for new election

The Taliban on Wednesday rejected a proposal by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to hold elections later this year, after months of peace talks between the two sides have made little progress.

Although he hasn’t made details public, Mr. Ghani will announce the election plan at a stakeholder conference in Turkey next month, according to two government officials. The move is likely an attempt to undercut a U.S. proposal, supported by Russia, for the formation of an interim government involving the Taliban to rule the country once the last U.S. troops withdraw. “The government will go to Turkey with a plan for an early election which is a fair plan for the future of Afghanistan,” said an official.

The Taliban immediately rejected the proposal. “Such processes [elections] have pushed the country to the verge of crisis in the past,” said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. “They are now talking about a process that has always been scandalous,” he said, adding that any decision on the country’s future must be hammered out in ongoing talks between the two sides. “We will never support it.”

The U.S. is due to withdraw the last of its troops by May 1 under a deal finalised last year, although President Joe Biden said earlier this month the deadline would be “tough” to meet.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 3:24:00 PM |

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