Afghanistan's political turmoil worsens as another Governor refuses to accept removal orders from President

Afghanistan's political turmoil worsens as another Governor refuses to accept removal orders from President

KABUL - *Abdul Karim Khudam, the ousted governor of Samangan province, said on Sunday government does not have the authority to fire him and that he refuses to accept the decision.*

Addressing a press conference in the provincial capital Aibak, Khudam described the move as a conspiracy against him, TOLO News has reported.

This comes a day after officials from the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) announced the appointment of new governors for Logar, Laghman, Samangan, Kunduz and Maidan Wardak provinces.

“They have acted against me with injustice and against the commitments they made and I strongly condemn this decision,” said Khudam.

Khudam said he was appointed as governor based on an agreement between Jamiat-e-Islami Party of Afghanistan and government and that government does not have the authority to remove him.

“Myself and my deputy Dr. Zia will continue our work until Jamiat leaders announces their decision. The central government does not have the authority to remove both of us, the decision has been one-sided,” he said.

Khudam’s dismissal comes just two months after President Ashraf Ghani ousted another Jamiat governor, Balkh’s Atta Mohammad Noor.

Noor has also refused to step down and is adamant that any decision about his removal is a Jamiat decision and not government’s.

“This was a one-side decision, myself and the honourable governor will continue our work until Jamiat-e-Islami takes a decision,” said Khudam’s deputy Zia, who has also been dismissed.

Meanwhile, acting minister of foreign affairs, Salahuddin Rabbani, said in a Facebook message: “His excellency Abdul Karim Khudam, the honorable governor of Samangan and member of Jamiat-e-Islami leadership council, is among the respected personalities of the Turkmen tribe and one of the experienced and outstanding personalities. The leadership council of Jamiat-e-Islami will soon announce its position regarding the issue. Jamiat-e-Islami party strongly values the demands of the faithful Turkmen tribe and the people of Samangan.”

Munera Yousufzada, a spokesman for the IDLG, said the organization is in talks with the governor and deputy governor of Samangan and issues will be resolved soon.

However, she gave no further details.

Sources have meanwhile confirmed that Khudam’s replacement Abdul Latif Ibrahimi is the brother of the Wolesi Jirga speaker, Abdul Raouf Ibrahimi.

This latest move is another blow to relations between Jamiat and government – following Noor’s ousting late last year.

After weeks of discussions between government and Jamiat, the Noor situation has remained unresolved.

A few days ago, when the talks hit an impasse, Noor threatened to call for mass protests around the country at the end of this month if Jamiat’s demands are not met by government. He said thousands of vehicles would travel to Kabul where his supporters would hold a demonstration.

President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday appointed new governors for Laghman, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Samangan and Kunduz provinces.

An IDLG statement said the five governors were appointed based on recommendations of the directorate.

Abdul Jabbar Naeemi was appointed as governor for northern Kunduz province, Asif Nang, who previously served as Farah governor, has been appointed as the governor of eastern Laghman province.

Anwar Khan Ishaqzai has been appointed as governor for central Logar province, Dr. Shajehan for central Maidan Wardak province and Abdul Latif Ibrahimi for northern Samangan province, the statement said.

No details were given as to why the former governors were ousted.