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Political Agreement between Ghani and Abdullah

Feature: Political Agreement Between Ghani and Abdullah

After three months of political strife, the two “sworn presidents” of Afghanistan – Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah – finally made peace on May 17, under a political agreement. This agreement was really vital for Afghanistan, as the country had once again reached a political impasse due to the failure of electoral institutions to hold transparent elections. The agreement of the political rivals was the only way out of this deadlock. Continuing political tensions in a situation, when the United States is seriously trying to withdraw from Afghanistan and the spread of the coronavirus as a national threat in Afghanistan is multiplying, could have irreparable political and social consequences. Due to political tensions, the fight against corona has weaken and the vital peace process has once again failed.
However, this political agreement in practice is not much different from the agreement reached five years ago, which led to the formation of a National
Unity Government (NUG). Although different in name, the consequence of this political agreement is the division of power. Definitions and interpretations will undoubtedly be political and contribute to the political alliances of the two sides. The text of the agreement, which has been published in the media, reflects the fact that the details of the plan include demands that, in practice, limit the authority of President Ghani.
The main concern is that this conflict of interests may lead to new tensions, and that Afghanistan will see another crisis within the government. What happened in the government of national unity? After the formation of the NUG, the country was expected to experience a different situation, but the leaders of NUG began their work with failure from the first days of its rule, due to persistent differences among the members of the government. It was tragic for the people of Afghanistan. The commitments under NUG were violated in all areas.
Arg and Sepidar were unable to work together, and Afghanistan faced major challenges. Now the reason for the people’s continued concern is whether the two candidates will be able to work together or whether the nightmare of NUG will be repeated.
However, there are hopes that the inevitability of peace, the US plan to withdraw from Afghanistan, and most importantly the crisis because of coronavirus do not allow Afghanistan to spend another five years in the political turmoil. Political wisdom dictates that all parties to the political agreement maintain their integrity and that the basis of the work be the immediate consideration of Afghanistan’s socio-political priorities.
In the NUG, the government was unable to nominate a cabinet for one year due to disagreements. This situation continued during the NUG, and the cabinet was mostly run by caretakers. That is why it became known as the government of the caretakers. Now the main priority is to introduce the cabinet to the parliament. It is true that both have promised electoral allies, but the situation in Afghanistan requires that appointments be based on meritocracy and on the expertise of individuals. At the very least, both sides should urge their political allies to nominate such individuals.
Concerns about an internal crisis in the government and the bitter experience of the NUG are due to the fact that President Ghani did everything he could to undermine the Chief Executive Office. He entered the election campaign with the same slogan. On the other hand, Abdullah faced a lot of pressure because of losing authority within the NUG. Abdullah’s close associates and allies left their support for him because of the appeasement he had made. Abdullah has experienced the government of NUG for five years and knows that he will be marginalized sooner or later because of having a ceremonial and short role. Thus, Ghani’s experience of Abdullah’s cumbersome role and Abdullah’s experience of marginalization in the NUG make tensions more likely. The fact is that these tensions are already evident. The Arg interprets this political agreement as Abdullah’s joining of Ghani administration, but Abdullah’s team interprets the political agreement as a 50 percent division of power.
Now that Afghanistan is witnessing the formation of a second government based on a political agreement, not an election, then, instead of weakening each other, Mr. Abdullah and Ghani must work together with a sense of responsibility for the Afghan people. This agreement must be seen as an opportunity to negotiate peace, maintain political stability and address people’s problems. This is Ghani and Abdullah’s last chance to take control of the matters in Afghanistan. After this period, as per the Constitution, Ghani cannot be president of the country, and Abdullah may not dream of regaining power.
(Sahar News)

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