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

    Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora