Date
23 September 2017
Abdullah Abdullah (left) and Ashraf Ghani shake hands after signing a power-sharing agreement in Kabul Sunday. Photo: AFP
Abdullah Abdullah (left) and Ashraf Ghani shake hands after signing a power-sharing agreement in Kabul Sunday. Photo: AFP

Ghani named Afghan president-elect in power-sharing deal

Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani was named Afghanistan’s president-elect on Sunday after he signed a deal to share power with his opponent, ending months of turmoil over a disputed election.

The final election numbers have been withheld, apparently as part of the political deal between Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister who claimed the process was rigged against him, Reuters reported.

“The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan declares Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the president of Afghanistan,” commission chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani said.

Under the deal, Ghani will share power with a chief executive proposed by Abdullah. The two will share control over who leads key institutions such as the Afghan army and other executive decisions, according to the news agency.

Nuristani acknowledged deep flaws in the June 14 vote and said an audit supervised by the United Nations was not adequate to weed out all the vote-rigging.

The final sticking point in the negotiations to form a unity government was Abdullah’s insistence that the official final vote tally not be released. Abdullah was widely believed to be far behind in the official results, the report said.

Nuristani said the full count would be released at a later date.

Ghani and Abdullah ratified the power-sharing agreement earlier on Sunday at the presidential palace in Kabul, joined by outgoing leader Hamid Karzai. Ghani is expected to be sworn in as president on Sept. 29.

Washington and its allies had hoped for a smooth transition of power as they prepare to end a military mission that started with the 2001 ouster of the Taliban for sheltering al Qaeda leaders behind the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

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CG

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