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Afghanistan’s political dispute ends as Ghani, Abdullah sign power-sharing deal

Abdullah Abdullah who challenged legitimacy of president Ghani for months will – according to the agreement – undertake leadership of the High Council of National Reconciliation, with an active presence in the cabinet.

AT News

KABUL: Finally the warring Afghan leaders—President Ashraf Ghani and his estranged ally Abdullah Abdullah—signed on Saturday a political agreement that will set the motion for a power-sharing or coalition government after months of dispute and marathon mediation talks.

The political agreement between President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah was signed minutes ago, presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Saturday. He adds that Dr. Abdullah Abdullah will undertake the leadership of the High Council of National Reconciliation, and his teams will be in the cabinet.

The agreement was inked in the presence of former president Hamid Karzai, jihadi leader Abdulrab Rasoul Sayyaf, Yunus Qanooni, Karim Khalili, Zalmay Rasoul, Batur Dustom, Hamdullah Mohib.

Dr. Abdullah will have the position of the second commander in chief after occupying headship of the High Council.

The agreement also stipulates that Abdul Rashid Dostum will be bestowed with the rank of “Marshal” and membership in the High Council and Security Council of the government.

The agreement pictures a government in which each side will have a 50 percent share. According to the agreement (proposed by Abdullah and mainly accepted by Ghani), the High Council of National Reconciliation will be established to issue executive orders and will be led by Abdullah Abdullah.

A key part of the agreement is the participation of Abdullah’s team in the government. This matter has been one of the main topics of the discussions between the two sides. Abdullah will have the authority to appoint 50 percent of the cabinet, including key ministries.

Sources said the ministries of Interior Affairs; Justice, Labor and Social Affairs; Refugees and Repatriation; Transportation; Economy; Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock; Higher Education; Borders and Tribal Affairs; Industry and Commerce; and the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology have been offered to Abdullah by President Ghani.

Ghani and Abdullah have been in a bitter feud over presidency for more than half a year after presidential elections that bred dissent and rivalry. If the two leaders can finally clamber out of the ditch and end the longstanding political polarization, a big portion of the puzzle will be solved and the country can move on – without encumbrance – with its peace plans.

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