Karzai will try to hold on to power beyond 2014: report

5th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Afghan President Hamid Karzai plans to try to stay in power after 2014, the end of his second and final mandate under the constitution, German daily Bild reported Monday citing an intelligence report.

As a major international conference got under way in Bonn on the future of Afghanistan after NATO-led combat troops withdraw in 2014, Bild said Karzai was working on a "new organisation of the Afghan central government", according to a special report by Germany's BND foreign intelligence service.

"The reason is believed to be Karzai's wish not to step down, although he has indicated publicly he does not plan to extend his term in office," Bild quoted the report as saying.

Karzai told Monday's issue of German news weekly Der Spiegel that he planned to live in Kabul after 2014 as "a pensioner and happy citizen".

The Bild report said that the BND believed Karzai was seeking a "creative solution" to get around the two-term limit.

"According to intelligence findings, Karzai is holding exploratory talks with prominent Afghan politicians," it said.

Karzai is chairing the Bonn conference, 10 years after another meeting here established an interim government with him at the helm in the wake of the Taliban's ouster.

Monday's gathering is aimed at outlining the international community's engagement in the strife-wracked country after 2014.

© 2011 AFP

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