KABUL: Self-anointed president Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday vowed to press ahead with his grinding campaign for presidency, dismissing compromise with president Ghani.
After the U.S. State Department and NATO called on politicians to rivet their attention to peace process, Abdullah touted Washington’s efforts to pave the ground for attaining a ‘fair and durable’ peace. “We appreciate the United States and its allies in supporting the peace process, defending law enforcement and pure votes of the people.”
Since a few days, former president Hamid Karzai and jihadi leader Abdulrab Rasoul Sayyaf have stepped in to intercede in the election dispute between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, as tensions risk ratcheting up into deeper political divide and casting shadow on impending talks with the Taliban.
Abdullah said in a statement that he is resolute in implementing laws and election transparency, defending people’s clean votes and preventing fraud. He also touted a partial truce – a week-long period of reduced violence – and its implementation as a ‘significant step’ forward with intra-Aghan talks, nationwide ceasefire and ultimately peace.
This is as the United States has asked Afghan leaders to avoid tensions and focus their attention on peace efforts, worried ongoing election wrangling could spill into peace efforts.
This also coincides with intercession attempts made recently by Hamid Karzai who has asked both Ghani and Abdullah to continue their national unity government. Notwithstanding the intercession efforts, the chief executive office says its stance will never change, insisting that “a person elected by people will be the president”.
Abdullah proclaimed himself president after electoral commission gave the lead to the incumbent President Ghani and announced him the winner of September vote after a painstaking months-long audit and recount of hundreds of thousands of ballots in the wake of widespread allegations of ballot stuffing and fraud.