KABUL: Rival Afghan presidential candidates – Ahsraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah – signed ‘unity government’ deal on Sunday.
Under the power-sharing deal, Ghani will take over as President of Afghanistan while Abdullah will nominate ‘chief executive’, thereby ending a prolonged stand-off over disputed election results at a pivotal moment in the war-weary nation’s history.
The final vote count is also scheduled for release, after being delayed for last-minute talks to break a deadlock that has plunged Afghanistan into crisis as US-led troops end their 13-year war against the Taliban.
Ghani – who won June’s run-off vote according to preliminary results – emerges as the new President of the war torn country. Abdullah has the option nominating a person of his liking for the new post of “chief executive officer”, possibly taking on the role himself.
Both Ghani and Abdullah claim to have won the fraud-tainted election, prompting calls for audit of the election. The United Nations has pushed hard for a “national unity government” to avoid a return to the ethnic divisions of the 1990s civil war.