News / Asia

Afghan Presidential Rivals Sign Unity Deal

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, from right, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai share a light moment at the podium during a joint press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2014.
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, from right, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai share a light moment at the podium during a joint press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2014.
Ayaz Gul

Rival Afghan presidential candidates have pledged to resolve their election dispute and form a “national unity government” before NATO leaders gather in Britain early next month to discuss Afghanistan's future.  
 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and United Nations officials in Kabul helped brokered the deal after extensive negotiations with presidential hopefuls, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah.
 
Speaking to reporters alongside Kerry in the Afghan capital, both Ghani and Abdullah promised to cooperate in speeding up an internationally-supervised audit of the disputed June 14 runoff vote. Ghani hoped that the process will be completed by the end of this month and the next president will be inaugurated to end political uncertainty in the country.
 
“We affirmed today again both our support for this process of audit and our commitment to abide by its results. But to underline our sense of unity of purpose we are affirming that we will form a government of national unity to implement what we promised during the campaign," said Ghani.

For his part, Abdullah suggested the formation of the national unity government, and not the audit process, has become a priority for both the sides.  

“We have agreed on this mutual program. We are committed to work together to develop it further and our teams will start working on the details of it for a few days, leaving the outcome of the elections aside or what has happened in the past but rather looking towards the future for the interest of the national unity of government with every eventuality which might come up as a result of the audit process," said Abdullah.
 
Former finance minister Ghani was ahead when the preliminary results were announced early last month. But Abdullah, a former foreign minister, rejected the outcome, claiming that two million fake votes were cast for his rival. His supporters had threatened to establish a parallel government, revising fears of political chaos along ethnic lines.  
 
The political turmoil prompted Secretary Kerry to visit Kabul last month to persuade the two candidates to agree to a full audit of the disputed vote and to form an inclusive government.  

But the audit has since been marred by controversies and walkouts by the two sides over how to disqualify suspicious votes.

Ghani and Abdullah also disagreed on the nature of a national unity government verbally agreed to in July.
 
Speaking at Friday’s press briefing, Kerry acknowledged an initial lack of clarity on both issues, but says they have now been worked through.
 
“That is why both the candidates are here today to say they are not asking for further [auditing] criteria or changes. And they have agreed on a process, they will stay with the process and they will abide by the process. That is an accomplishment," said Kerry.

The political deal brokered by the U.S. secretary of state seeks the creation of a new chief executive position in the governing system to accommodate the losing candidate in the future administration.
 
Kerry dismissed suggestions the move will undermine the constitution of Afghanistan. He said he hoped political transition will be complete before NATO leaders gather for the September summit in Wales to discuss post-2014 plans for Afghanistan.

 

  • Afghan presidential candidates (from left) Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (in white) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (third from left) arrive at a joint press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani (center) and Abdullah Abdullah (left) during a news conference in Kabul, Aug. 8, 2014.
  • Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (left) speaks while other candidate Abdullah Abdullah (center) talks to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a joint press conference in Kabul,  Aug. 8, 2014.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (center) talks as Afghanistan's presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah (left) and Jan Kubis, the U.N. Secretary-General's special representative, listen during a meeting at U.S. embassy, in Kabul, Aug. 8, 2014
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (center) holds up a string of Islamic beads, as Afghanistan's presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (left) and Jan Kubis, the U.N. Secretary-General's special representative look on, during a meeting at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Aug. 8, 2014.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rafiullah Usofzai from: Khost Afghnistan
August 09, 2014 3:59 AM
We Afghan people must be love their government and the must be accept the next president of Afghanistan not for their native language that who are the every people want just one who's language same to same don't be like this i pray for every one and you people pray to that we have a president to work for every one

by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
August 08, 2014 4:56 PM
The unseen problem of Afghanistan is Kazai's meddling in the future Afghanistan which he had his chance but still grave for more time even with another president in place,he should be bared if progress needs be sealed.

by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
August 08, 2014 12:20 PM
After the deadlock over the Afgan presidential election, it'going to be a unity govt.; and, a new president to come up officially. That's certainly welcome. But we do have problems ahead. That's over the security of Afghanistan........ Unless the newly incumbent president does sign bilateral security agreement with ours, our govt. has got to withdraw our total defense out of Afghanistan. Under such circumstances, the very internal security of Afghanistan ...... how that govt. to maintain, it' under a very serious question. If our raised Afgan defense can withstand the assaults of the Talibans? Let's await and watch.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs