US News Afghan President and his rival sign power-sharing agreement

17:00  17 may  2020
17:00  17 may  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, who both declared themselves presidential winners in Afghanistan on March 9, reached an agreement on Sunday. Abdullah Abdullah must lead a "national reconciliation commission" which must lead to the end of the political crisis.

Afghanistan is on the way to finding a little more serenity at the political level. On March 9, a disconcerting spectacle was held in the capital Kabul. Ashraf Ghani, outgoing president and declared winner of the presidential election, was reinvested in a ceremony, while nearby, his rival Abdullah Abduallah also claimed victory and organized his own nomination ceremony.

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After months of political crisis with two men claiming the highest office in the country, a solution was found Sunday, May 17.

Distant litigation

Sediq Sediqqi, spokesperson for Ashraf Ghani, announced that a power-sharing agreement had been signed by the two protagonists. "Dr. Abdullah will lead the national reconciliation commission, and members of his team will be included in the cabinet," he wrote in a message posted on Twitter. Abdullah Abdullah, an ophthalmologist by profession, had already announced a "provisional agreement" on May 1 with Ashraf Ghani, a former economist at the World Bank.

Afghans were called to the polls in September 2019, but the final results were not announced until February 2020, due to the filing of 16,500 complaints of irregularities by candidates. The previous presidential election in 2014 had already given rise to a political crisis and a power-sharing agreement: after refusing to admit defeat against Ghani, Abdullah had obtained the post of chief executive.

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Talks with the Taliban revived ?

Under pressure from the United States in particular, who sanctioned Kabul by reducing their financial aid by a billion dollars in March and who threatened to reduce it even further in the future, a new agreement was born.

Abdullah Abdullah will notably be responsible for leading future peace talks with the Taliban, who themselves found a historic agreement with Washington on February 29. This agreement, which paves the way for a withdrawal of foreign forces from the country within 14 months, has so far been frozen by the political crisis.

In Afghanistan, we hope for this new difficult page turned, all the more since the country still has to deal with violence and the terrorist threat. On Tuesday May 12, the Islamic State group carried out two more attacks in Kabul which left nearly 40 people dead, including pregnant women and newborns in a hospital. And on the health side, the coronavirus pandemic is also spreading rapidly in the country.

(With AFP)

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