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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs