Ghani's Foreign Trips Raises Power Vacuum Query


Critics and political experts Friday rebuked the Afghan government for not assigning a caretaker president while President Ashraf Ghani is on foreign trips, saying the practice brings about a power vacuum in the country.

Experts argue that either Ghani has no trust in his deputies or he is resorting to the unprincipled approach in the wake of his disagreements with Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah.

Meanwhile, the presidency has hit back at critics over their claims of a power vacuum in the country while the president is on foreign trips, saying that it was common routine and that the president has no obligation to assign a caretaker while he is away.

“In the legal perspective, the president is not obligated to assign a caretaker while he is on foreign trips and it is a common practice, because in the past there was no access to the president, but the president has access to ongoing situations in the country from anywhere and also the entire government has access to the president whenever they need,” deputy presidential spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi said.

Ghani is currently in Uzbekistan to attend the 16th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.

“The National Unity Government so far has not succeeded to share the power properly between the president and the Chief Executive, because of this, the issue has been sidelined and no order is issued, but according to the principle, the first vice president must take charge and it has been approved in the constitution as well,” political analyst Khalil Roman said.

“The president should formally inform all institutions and bodies about the routine governance process and acceleration of work and affairs so that they know who is going to issue orders as acting president,” law expert Ainuddin Bahaduri said.

There is a perception that the president does not assign his deputies due to certain reservations as the national unity government is a power sharing entity in terms of its structure. However, some others argue that the president has no trust in his VPs.

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