Post-unity deal, Ashraf Ghani named as President-elect of Afghanistan

Sep 22, 2014 18:31 IST

Election Commission of Afghanistan on 21 September 2014 declared Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the President-elect of Afghanistan.

His name was announced by the Chief of Election Commission Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani after a Unity deal was signed between Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah, former foreign minister of Afghanistan.
 
Ghani Adhmadzai is a former finance minister and World Bank official whose power base is in the South and East Afghanistan. He is expected to be sworn-in as President on 29 September 2014.

However, the Election Commission did not release the final tally of votes on the suggestion of UN representative in Afghanistan Jan Kubish who feared that release of result may lead to spate of violence.



Unity deal
Ashraf Ghani signed a power sharing agreement with rival Abdullah Abdullah on 21 September 2014. The deal ended three-month stalemate over government formation in Afghanistan on account of disputed election results.

The main highlights of the deal
• A loya jirga (grand assembly) will be held within two years to amend the Constitution and discuss creating a new post of Prime Minister, who will serve under the President.
• Until the Constitution is amended, a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be appointed and will be the acting Prime Minister.
• The President will head the cabinet, and the CEO will head weekly cabinet meetings.
• The President and the CEO will have equal share in security, economic, independent institutions and in the national security council
• Election reforms will be enacted before parliamentary polls in 2015 along with an electronic identity card system being introduced
• The deal is a victory for US secretary of state John Kerry who during a July 2014 visit to Afghanistan convinced the candidates to agree in principle to share power.

Presidential Election Dispute in Afghanistan
Preliminary results of the June 2014 elections released in July 2014 showed Ghani ahead of ex-foreign minister Abdullah with 56 percent of the vote. However, Abdullah believed that he won the elections against Ghani. He thereby accused Afghan Election Commission of fraud.

Seeing this, UN and Afghan election officials began auditing the results after allegations of fraud. But run-off vote total of Ghani dropped by only 1 percent after the audit. Still, people supporting Abdullah maintained that the fraud was undetectable.

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