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Abdullah scorns Ghani’s degree on reconciliation council members

“Based on political agreement with President Ghani, it’s in my authority to appoint members of the council,” Abdullah says

AT News

KABUL: Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the high council for national reconciliation says President Ashraf Ghani was not authorized to appoint members of the body and it was his own job to form the entity he heads

In a statement issued Monday, Abdullah said that the council should be national, comprehensive and inclusive. He said that he had consulted political leaders and civil society activists to appoint the council members.

President Ghani issued a list of the reconciliation council members over the weekend. The list reads the names of 46 people including former jihadi leaders and women as the members of the newly-formed council.

“The chairman of the council in consultation with the president, political leaders, parliament speakers, civil society activists and elites, forms the council,” Abdullah said, citing the May peace deal he signed with Ghani under which he agreed to run the reconciliation council under the President.

The statement added that the chairman of the council was authorized to form the body, not the President.

But, President Ghani’s spokesman, said on Monday that the members of the council were appointed in a consultative process. He said however, that bringing changes in the list was possible.

He confirmed that the council chairman is responsible to introduce the members, but the President who is at the top of government, appoints the members.

Former President Hamid Karzai declined to be part of the council. Former Foreign Minister Slahahuddin Rabbani also said that he would not attend the council as he was not consulted.

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