By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: Addressing the twenty-second meeting of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board in Kabul here yesterday, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said that seven billion Afghanis had been allocated from the government budget for the election process.
“It is for the first time we are paying most part of the election fund from our own resources, I congratulate all the Afghans on this great step,” the president said. He added Afghan security forces would ensure security for the presidential election.
According to the president, Afghan security and defense forces would be neutral in the election process and they will publish regulations and a clear procedure in the next one day so all become assured that Afghan security and defense forces are national asset, not a personal property or affiliated with some political parties.
President Ghani said government’s civil workers would be impartial in election and those who violated the law would be taken to justice. “Afghanistan penal code criminalizes interference in election, I ask judiciary organs to be careful about criminal election cases,” he said.
The president said election campaigns by candidates would start next week. The presidential election would not be free of problems, but Afghans would not bow to any problem and would act in recourse to deal with them, he said.
President Ghani stressed national unity and said, “In the past, our small and big cities were not connected but today they are connected.”
Peace in Afghanistan would be ensured because it was a priority of the government and there were also advancements in this regard, he said.
The President said Afghanistan’s economy was getting better and would reach self-sustainability with support of international allies. He thanked the international community for its support and said the international community partnership with Afghanistan was highly valued.
Meanwhile, UNAMA head Tadamichi Yamamoto told the meeting that they would discuss performed tasks, present challenges in Afghanistan and finding solutions to them in the meeting.
He said Afghanistan was closer to peace now than any time before but there was still need for further efforts to make peace a reality. He also said there were some challenges in last year’s Wolesi Jirga elections and the government should learn a lesson from them in the presidential election.
“Afghan presidential election should be credible and transparent,” he said.
Mohammad Hamayon Qayumi, acting finance minister, who was also present in the meeting, appreciated international community’s support to Afghanistan and said today’s meeting would discuss coordination, challenges and solutions as well as anti-corruption efforts. He said the government had prepared programs for its self-sufficiency and peace in the country. Qayumi said that implementing these programs needed international support.