News - Afghanistan
Law experts and critics on Saturday queried the future credibility of Afghanistan's National Unity Government (NUG), arguing that its establishment was not in accordance with the nation's constitution and that government leaders must comply with the political agreement they sealed in the wake of the 2014 disputed presidential elections, which paved the way for the present government.
They warned government leaders against violating the political agreement, and urged them to convene the constitutional Loya Jirga according to the timeline so that it can determine the fate of the present administration.
According to legal experts, the NUG could face credibility challenges unless it takes steps to convene the Loya Jirga to amend the constitution and define the office of the Chief Executive Officer.
The 2014 presidential elections faced a serious deadlock in the wake of accusations of large scale fraud and vote rigging. However, a political agreement was later brokered by the U.S Secretary of State John Kerry to create the unity government under President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah. The agreement stated that within two years a constitutional amendment needed to be made to clarify the CEO's position.
In addition, within two years, necessary reforms in Afghanistan's election system need to be brought and a constitutional Loya Jirga must be held to consider amendments in the constitution.
The signing of the agreement was however met with profound criticism by law experts and critics who termed the NUG's creation against the constitution.
"The establishment of the national unity government does not comply with the constitution, but government leaders need to follow up on their commitments they made in the political agreement and implement them on time," law expert Mohammad Amin Ahadi said.
Following the establishment of the NUG, initially, the Afghan people anticipated a genuinely better future for their country in economic, security, social and political spheres. However, none of their dreams changed into reality, many critics have said.
"The constitution has defined the working tenure of the government. The government is committed to implementing commitments it made in the political agreement," a deputy presidential spokesman, Shah Hussain Murtazavi said.
The two years mentioned in the political agreement end within six months.
"There are concerns these commitments will not be placed according to the timeframe and there would be delays in complying with it, but the government is resolute in delivering on the promises," Mohammad Natiqi, a member of the Commission Overseeing Implementation of Political Agreement, said on Saturday.
Amid the growing controversy, law experts however say that the government will face serious credibility challenges if it fails to convene the Jirga and comply with the political agreement.
"The national unity government was opposing the constitution from the beginning, if this shaky government does not comply with the agreement, it will face a crisis and the termination of its job," law expert Abdul Wahid Farzayee, a member of the governing board of Afghanistan's Lawyers Association, said on Saturday.
It is believed that the implementation of reforms in the election system and the holding of the Loya Jirga could work to the benefit of the NUG. However, there is a perception in the country that government leaders seem to be reluctant to respond to these calls.