Afghan President Ghani, rival Abdullah strike power-sharing deal after feuding for months
…from PressTV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: Color me surprised. I would have bet the standoff would have gone on until one of them died. There is no confirmation but lots of suspicion that some US arm twisting was involved, like threats to decrease funding if the two did not settle their differences.
The clock was ticking on the US timetable to reduces its forces and then be completely out by May of 2021. Plus, the Taliban ceasefire earlier only pertained to attacks on US forces, not Kabul’s.
Many feel that the horrific attack on the maternity ward in Kabul was an attempt by ISIS to derail the peace deal and get the Kabul and the Taliban fighting again, which would relieve military pressure on ISIS.
President Ghani has ordered the military to begin offensive operations against the Taliban, which will be a shadow over the future peace talks. There are forces inside and outside that would prefer the war go on forever so they can continue to benefit from it, like the drug smuggling which could be threatened by the Taliban inside a new government.
VT was asked to submit a strategic plan for their drug problem, which was done as a courtesy. It will be a difficult problem to solve, as many profiteers do not want to lose their lucrative incomes… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … May 17, 2020 –
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, a former official and a rival to the incumbent President, have signed a power-sharing deal in a bid to put an end to a months-long feud that plunged the country into political crisis.
When, after delays over disputed votes, the results of the September 2019 contested Presidential election was announced in February by Afghanistan’s Election Commission and Ghani was declared the winner, Abdullah rejected the results, proclaiming himself to be the President-elect.
The 59-year-old politician, who served as the chief executive officer of the outgoing administration under an earlier power-sharing deal, then held a parallel swearing-in ceremony in the same day that Ghani held his back in March, at a time when the US was trying to hammer out a peace deal with the Taliban militant group to end the 19-year Afghan war.
“The Political Agreement between President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah has just been signed. Dr. Abdullah will lead the National Reconciliation High Council and members of his team will be included in the cabinet,” said Sediq Sediqqi, Ghani’s spokesman, on Twitter on Sunday.
He did not say which ministerial positions Abdullah’s camp will secure but added that details of the deal would be aired by Afghanistan National Television.
The breakthrough comes as the war-torn country combats a range of crises, including a swift spread of COVID-19 contagious disease and an escalation in terrorists’ violence that claimed the lives of dozens of people in brutal attacks last week.
Under the power-sharing deal, Abdullah will lead future peace talks with the Taliban group, which has already signed a landmark accord with Washington to pave the way for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan after years of occupation.
In the election last year, Abdullah was seeking the presidency for the third time, after losing in 2009 and 2014.
Following the 2014 Presidential election, Afghanistan was struck by a similar power crisis. Back then, Ghani and Abdullah fought a close and angry race that sparked widespread allegations of fraud and saw the United States step in to broker an awkward power-sharing agreement between the rivals under which Ghani became President and Abdullah became “chief executive.”