Ashraf Ghani, the former president since 2014 and contested winner of the elections, took the oath on Monday 9th in Kabul. On the other hand, the former chief Abdullah Abdullah, a self-proclaimed winner of the poll, held a parallel ceremony of his own. These two presidents in Afghanistan are so blinded by corruption that they disregard how their rivalry will affect an already broken country.
Somehow, both men were able to claim victory in the contested election on 28th Sept which was heavily tainted by rigging. U.S. failed to break a power-sharing deal between the two candidates which could have prevented Afghanistan from further political crises.
The inauguration was halted due to anticipation of power sharing but it produced no results. However, Ghani was the first one to offer Abdullah a 40% share in the cabinet which was instantly declined. Alternatively, Abdullah asked for the position of executive Prime Minister, which was rejected by Ghani. A tit for tat.
Clash between the two presidents in Afghanistan
Ghani proposed that he wanted to establish an inclusive administration where power could not be monopolized. He encouraged his rivals to work together in a republic system. Gun fire and bomb blasts were heard in the vicinity of the palace at the time of oath taking ceremony but Ghani completed his speech while motivating people to stay calm and remain seated, it was “just” some explosions.
After peace deal with the U.S., the Taliban were ready to negotiate with the Afghan government only after the release of their 5,000 prisoners. Ghani agreed on issuing an edict to release prisoners in exchange for a considerable reduction in violence.
Meanwhile, Abdullah continues to give speeches that if we accepted this fraudulent election, democracy would have died in Afghanistan, like it was truly alive before. He is refusing to accept the government of Ghani as he believes it is the product of rigged election. He made himself president as well and that’s how we got two presidents in Afghanistan.
The history repeats itself…
The exact same situation happened in 2014 election between the same candidates. US also intervened that time and brokered a last minute deal that resulted in a memorable civil war.
This precise civil war created the very position of Chief Executive, where Abdullah is enjoying ever since. Now is also a self pro-claimed President.
The current situation represents the worst case scenario for Afghanistan’s politics. In the crucial moments after US-Taliban peace deal, it was about time the country needed to set aside its political differences. Instead the world witnessed the formation of two separate governments that will further increase the differences.
How violence is controlled after the peace deal
Just days after the US – Taliban peace deal, militant groups created their political offices. There have been 80 attacks in the country since the deal, as media reports. On top of that, US sent an air raid on the Taliban freedom fighters in Helmad.
So what does this so called peace deal has to offer? It is a real political mess in Afghanistan right now. Number of players with different ideologies and rivalries are claiming to be players of the political field. First of all there is US, and its NATO friends who are there for 2 decades. Then there are Taliban, who were surprisingly friendly towards US peace deal.
But what about the Afghan government? For years they were controlled by the United States but now suddenly decide to split presidency? Can the harmony take place between the two presidents in Afghanistan? Both Abdullah and Ghani claim to be rightful president. How can this attitude be considered a presidential attitude let alone fixing an entire country?
The US, on the other hand is trying to get Afghan government (whoever might that be) to negotiate with the Taliban. While the Taliban do not even recognize the legitimacy of this government. So, with two presidents in Afghanistan, bringing peace and stability will be a huge challenge.