KABUL (Pajhowk): Legal experts on Wednesday called presidential candidates’ suggestion of a caretaker setup before the presidential election as illegal and said such a government would plunge the country into crisis.
The Council of Presidential Candidates on Tuesday said President Ashraf Ghani’s stay in office beyond May 22 was illegal, and demanded a caretaker government to take over the helm of affairs after that date.
However, law experts say a caretaker set-up is against the country’s interests and the government would be divided and the country plunged into crisis if such an idea is implemented.
Kabir Ranjbar, a lawyer, called presidential candidates’ suggestion for creation of a caretaker set-up illegal and said the candidates were not ruling figures and they had no authority to remove the president.
He said creation of a provisional government was not a right decision and had no room in the Constitution.
“We respect the candidates, but I should say they are taking us to a wrong way because their demand will face the government with crisis when we will have no chance to bring things into order again,” he said.
Pointing to the article 61 of the constitution, he said, “This article makes it clear that the job of the president ends on May 22 of the government’s fifth year, this article has problems and the legislature never thought what should be done in emergency situation and when elections are delayed.”
He said if legislators should pay attention to the issue and should legislate that the president should continue his job in a critical and war situation when there was no chance for elections.
 “If we create a caretaker set up, it would lead us to a power vacuum and the system would get damaged, this problem existed in the Wolesi Jirga elections too and then the term of the lower house was extended,” he said.
The article 61 of the Constitution says, “The presidential term shall expire on 1st of Jawza (May 22) of the fifth year after elections.”
However, there is no explanation in the Constitution what should be done in critical situations and when holding the election is not possible.
Wadir Safi, another legal expert, also said there was no legal basis for a caretaker government and the current president should stay in office until the next elections were held and his successor was introduced.
He said the Constitution was no in conflict with the extension of the president’s term as Former President Hamid Karzai was also allowed by the Supreme Court to continue in his job until a new president was elected.
Safi said the Constitution had some defects and should be reformed in next Loya Jirga or grand council.


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