KABUL (Pajhwok): Jamiat-i-Islami Afghanistan (JIA) party central leader Younus Qanoni says potential presidential candidate Hanif Atmar has agreed with them over creation of a semi-presidential system.
Qanoni made the revelation in an audio clip aired by Ariana Television. In this audio speech, Qanoni, however, says no final decision has been made in this regard.
“The final decision about this issue would come from the JIA leadership council where Atta Mohammad Noor, Ismail Khan, Bismillah Khan and others would be present,” he said in the audio.
Qanoni said their strategic goal was change the government system from the presidential to a semi-presidential after the next presidential election.
A semi-presidential system or dual executive system is a system of government in which a president exists alongside a prime minister and a cabinet, with the latter being responsible to the legislature.
Qanoni, also a former vice-president and speaker of the lower house, said, “We know we cannot hold the position of the president, but the vice-president position is worthless for us, if we cannot bring change to the system.”
He said the Chief Executive Officer post should be changed into a prime ministerial post, powers of the premiership should be determined and the council of jihadi and political leaders created. He said the president should have three deputies.
“All these things are part of the JIA program and any candidate who agrees with these, our party would join”, he added in the audio speech.
Qanoni said President Ashraf Ghani was a strong opponent of changing the system but Hanif Atmar fully agreed with them in this regard.
“We will take a guarantee letter from Atmar to implement our demands, he can remove Ghani from the Presidential Palace,” he said.
Few days back, Hanif Atmar said Younus Qanoni would be his first and Mohammad Mohaqiq his second running mates in the upcoming presidential election.
However, Qanoni in the audio said they would not accept the vice-presidency of any candidate who opposed changing the CEO position to premiership.
He said CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah had encouraged Salahuddin Rabbani to join Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah had reached a deal with Ghani based on which Salahuddin would be Ghani’s vice-president and Abdullah would continue as the CEO.
Qanoni and Hanif Atmar have not yet commented about the audio tape which has sparked reactions from people in the social media.
Mahbobullah Khan, on his Facebook wall, said: “Our politicians think only about taking the government and changing it, but they do not care about the public, this story has been ongoing for the past four decades.”
Abdul Jabbar Andar, another Facebook user, said Hanif Atmar had been a failure since the beginning as he did not properly understand the Afghan society.
“Atmar thinks he would take the power by making deals with corrupt electoral tickets, but it is impossible, anyone who ignored the hopes of the majority for illegitimate demands of a minority would not succeed,” he said.
Mahbob Shah Mahbob, another social media user, said, “The Constitution is more important to us than any other document, we are against those who seek power by making deals over the constitution.”
However, another Facebook user, Babrak Omar supported Hanif Atmar and said the audio clip was fake because similar audio clips had appeared in the last presidential election.
He said Atmar had not confirmed the audio content and it was not Atmar’s or anyone else authority to change the Constitution, but it needed a Loya Jirga or grand council.


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