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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More