Rejecting US peace plan, Afghan president to offer election in six months

Rejecting US peace plan, Afghan president to offer election in six months

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Kabul: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will propose a new presidential election within six months. This is based on the peace plan as a counter-proposal to the US proposal he rejected. Two senior government officials Tell Reuters.

Officials said Ghani will announce his proposal at an international conference in Turkey next month, which shows that he rejects Washington’s plan to replace the interim government with a democratically elected government.

Last year, Washington, which agreed to withdraw troops from Afghanistan on May 1, nearly two decades later, is urging for a peace agreement to end the war between the government and the Taliban. The negotiations between the Afghan parties in Qatar have reached a deadlock.

US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been circulating a proposal which would replace the Kabul government with an interim administration. But Ghani has voiced vehement opposition to any solution that requires his government to step aside for unelected successors.

“The counterproposal which we are going to present at the Istanbul meeting would be to call for early presidential elections if the Taliban agree on a ceasefire,” one senior government official said on condition of anonymity.

Another Afghan government official said: “The president would never agree to step aside and any future government should be formed through democratic process, not a political deal.”

The third senior official also said that Ghani’s proposal would include a possible early election, although he did not specify the exact time of the vote. The third official said that Ghani had shared his road map with Khalilzad.

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