Written by Staff Writer
22 Sep, 2014 | 7:48 am
Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani was named Afghanistan’s president-elect on Sunday after he signed a deal to share power with his opponent, ending months of turmoil over a disputed election that destabilised the country as most foreign troops prepare to leave.
The announcement withheld the final election numbers, apparently as part of the political deal between Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister who claimed the process was rigged against him.
“The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan declares Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the president of Afghanistan,” commission chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani said.
Under the terms of the unity deal, Ghani will share power with a chief executive proposed by Abdullah. The two will share control over who leads key institutions such as the Afghan army and other executive decisions.
Nuristani acknowledged deep flaws in the June 14 run-off vote and said that a U.N.-supervised audit was not adequate to weed out all the vote-rigging. The audit was organised at a cost of $10 million to be paid for by U.S. aid money, according to the United Nations.
The final sticking point in the negotiations to form a unity government was Abdullah’s insistence that the official final vote tally not be released, his aides have said. Abdullah was widely believed to be far behind in the official results.
He appeared to have won a concession to at least delay making the results public, though Nuristani said on Sunday the full count would be provided at a later date.
Ghani and Abdullah ratified the power-sharing agreement earlier on Sunday at the presidential palace, joined by outgoing leader Hamid Karzai. The rivals-turned-partners shared a brief embrace after signing the papers.
Ghani is expected to be sworn in as president on Sept. 29, according to a senior Afghan official.
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