AFP. 2 February 2002. Taliban and communists banned from Afghanistan politics.
KABUL -- New political laws being drawn up in Afghanistan will demand all parties abide by democratic principles, and ban communists and Taliban leaders and followers from political activity, Justice Minister Abdul Rahim Karimi said Saturday. "All parties must accept the rules of [what we call] democracy. They will only be authorised on this condition, there will be no exceptions," he said. Karimi, who is charged with defining new political laws, expected they would be ready within three weeks. The laws will "refuse the right for anyone who took part in the destruction of the country to form a party," he said. "Taliban leaders will not be tolerated" nor would parties "that supported the regime," he said, citing the ultra-fundamentalist Hezb-i-Islami of anti-Soviet resistance commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Although the leaders of former communist parties would be excluded from Afghan politics, the law would not apply to lower level commmunists "who accept democracy and abandon the principle of dictatorship of the proletariat." In the new political era, parties must be registered with the culture ministry and have a minimum 500 members, which is one of the requirements of the country's 1964 constitution, a reference point for the interim administration. "The budgets of political parties will have to be transparent, and their source of finance cannot come from a foreign country to avoid the risk of a coup d'etat," the minister said. The Taliban, which ruled for five years until last November, was largely set up and financed by Pakistan. Former communist rulers were backed by the Soviet Union. The slew of laws being drawn up also ban personal attacks on rivals and forbid the release of military or confidential information. The right of free speech and Muslim values must be respected. Parties implicated in the jihad (holy war) against the Soviet forces "will only be able to resume political activity when they return 22 billion dollars received during the (1979-89) Soviet occupation," Karimi said. "Before they begin operating they must clarify their financial situation and the channels by which they were financed." Among these parties are those of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, the Jamiat-i-Islami and the Northern Alliance which includes interim Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, Defence Minister Qasim Fahim and Interior Minister Yunus Qanooni, the justice minister said. The 1964 constitution, established during the reign of former king Zahir Shah, states only that "Afghan citizens have the right to form political parties in accordance law" but does not control how they operate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barry Stoller http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ProletarianNews