Afghan top court extends Ghani's term until delayed presidential elections

Published: April 21, 2019
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani. PHOTO: AFP

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani. PHOTO: AFP

KABUL: Afghanistan’s Supreme Court on Sunday said it had extended the term of President Ashraf Ghani until elections, which have been delayed until September, can take place.

“The Afghan Supreme court has extended the service term of President Ghani until the re-election of a new president,” the court said in a statement.

Ghani to seek re-election in Afghan presidential poll: official

Originally set for April 20, the elections were first delayed until July 20 and pushed back again to September 28.

With Afghan politics in deep confusion as talks between the United States and Taliban representatives proceed, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, a former national security adviser once seen as the second-most powerful man in Afghanistan, accused Ghani of exploiting the uncertainty to gain re-election.

“The president is making things very difficult by taking measures that are extremely unfavourable to the process,” Atmar, who resigned from the government last year, told Reuters in an interview.

Election rival says Afghan President Ghani hindering peace deal

The comments reflect the extent to which the peace process has become tied into upcoming presidential elections at which Atmar, a veteran of decades of Afghanistan’s treacherous and often bloody politics, will be a leading contender.

Like other candidates, Atmar has called for Ghani to step down in May, when his five-year term ends, to clear the way for a caretaker government that would allow a broader-based approach to the peace process.

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