The departure of the Speaker of the Afghan Parliament, Mohammad Arif Qaderi, from an informal meeting at the United Nations Human Rights Council follows a recent Taliban statement that the group recognized the outcomes of recent constitutional amendments to facilitate a second round of presidential elections. The Taliban also threatened to disrupt them.
The Taliban statement came only days after the Afghan parliament overwhelmingly approved changes to the constitution that would require at least 50 percent of the vote to be cast for candidates other than incumbent president Ashraf Ghani in the second round of presidential elections, a clause that bolstered the campaign of independent presidential hopeful Yunus Qanooni.
“In the case of an election scenario without 50 percent of votes for other candidates, it will be considered as constitution violation,” the Taliban said, according to Reuters.
The withdrawal of Mr. Qaderi from the meeting signals the defeat of the parliamentary group’s attempts to call the Taliban to the table to discuss peace and join efforts to reach out to the Taliban’s spiritual leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar.