‘Tug of war’ and feud over power risks spilling into peace process and trigger ‘degeneration’ into deeper divide
KABUL: Allies of Afghanistan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah – who declared himself president after electoral authority recognized incumbent President Ghani as the winner of September vote, on Saturday appointed a new governor for Sar-i-Pul province.
The outlawed appointment comes a day after patrons of the self-proclaimed President Abdullah called for the results of the country’s presidential election to be annulled because of widespread vote rigging. Incidents of fraud did stymie the overall legitimacy of the election, in which President Ashraf Ghani appeared to win, fuelling a flurry of opposition and threats to establish a ‘parallel state’.
Abdulla’s team established Mohammad Noor Rahmani as the governor of Sar-e-Pul, as they ripped down President Ghani’s portrait from the provincial governor’s office. They announced their plan to appoint more governors in the near future.
In the latest twist in the continuing saga of post-election chaos, Panjshir’s incumbent governor, Kamaluddin Nizami, just went rogue, arguing he would disobey Ghani’s order.
The loyalists have purportedly established Ghazi Nawaz Tanai as the governor of Khost province. Tanai had previously served as advisor to Chief Executive.
There was euphoria in Charikar city in Parwan province as Abdullah’s supporters celebrated a victory – self-proclaimed by Abdullah – by dancing in streets.
The situation seemed when an attempt by Abdullah loyalists in Baghlan province to replace the governor was foiled as Pul-e-Khumri city was reportedly thronged with government armed forces, fortifying governor’s office.
This bedlam has prompted the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan to bristle. The mission has said that it is ‘extremely concerned by the ongoing attempts to replace government officials’. “Resorting to force or any other unlawful means at the very time that efforts are ongoing to realize a reduction in violence – with the expectation that it can lead to the start of an intra-Afghan negotiation on peace – jeopardizes the population’s hope for peace,” it said.