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Electoral shellacking rumbles on amid an ‘unfinished business’ of peace

19 Feb 2020 Afghanistan Times

By Mujeeb Rahman Awrang KABUL: Afghanistan Presidential Election, which was held in last September, has been looming in drastic crisis since then. The almost five-month delayed result of the election was announced Tuesday, in which incumbent President Ashraf Ghani had been declared as winner for the second term. Hours after the announcement, Ghani in a ceremony, in the Presidential Palace, flanked by his top team members, celebrated the victory and delivered speech to his supporters. But simultaneously, on late evening, his rival, Abdullah Abdullah – who was leading half of the National Unity Government – declared himself as winner. Abdullah promised his supporters that he will form an inclusive government, rejecting Ghani as the winner.   The election crisis are being played on the ground, while the country is yet to buckle up with its historic opportunity of peace process – which is edging to signing of an agreement between US and Taliban that will brings the Afghan on a direct negotiation table and roll out a gradual draw down of foreign troops. Many believe that election crisis have been putting a negative impact on the peace talks as the attention of the country’s leader are towards election victory prior to peace process. The Taliban – with whom the Afghans will set on table to negotiate the next steps of Afghan peace process – after signing a peace deal with US – in a statement had opposed the election and said “it is in conflict with the contents of ongoing peace process.” The current political convulsion in Afghanistan is in its verge, as the country is struggling to overcome its two historical disputed issues – election and peace. But the situation for Ghani and Abdullah is not something new as the two leaders in 2014 election, were playing the similar arguments over the victory. The then US Secretary of State John Kerry had brokered a deal of National Unity Government between them – in which Ghani was declared as President and Abdullah as Chief Executive Officer. Now the International Communities have been seemed reluctant to engage in the current political convulsion, as so far there has been no statement from any side in regards. On Wednesday, Abdullah ordered the Interior Ministry to bar the electoral commissioners from leaving the country. But in reaction, the Ministry’s Spokesman said that such issues were out of ministry’s authority, citing that the Attorney General Office and High Court was authorized to make decision in regards.

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