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Cabinet appointments halted after elite’s intervention to end crisis

The sparring leaders are oscillating in ambivalence as the country is sliding into mayhem. A post-election conflict of ‘wounded egos’ and tug-of-war has disturbed the economy more than it has undermined the politics. The stakes of a feud over power are bigger than they bargained for

AT News

KABUL: Presidential Palace has halted high-level appointments for five days after a group of prominent politicians asked the president on Sunday to halt his cabinet picks to facilitate mediation between him and his rival Abdullah Abdullah unfold in bid to end political impasse.

“The President has ordered a stop to cabinet appointments for a period of 5 days to facilitate political negotiations aimed at ending the crisis”, said president’s spokesperson Dava Khan Minapal.

This is as the country’s political elite including Hamid Karzai, Abdulrab Rasoul Sayyaf, and Mohammad Yunus Qanooni – who have been mediating between the two feuding leaders – in a joint statement on Sunday asked president Ghani to halt appointments of government officials and called on his rival Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to extend his ‘ultimatum’ for a political settlement to be reached.

President Ghani started churning out his Cabinet picks and introduced three minister nominees in less than five days last week including Haneef Atmar as acting Foreign Minister, Abdullah Hadi Arghandiwal as nominee for Finance Minister and Taher Zahir as nominee for Culture Ministry. He has also introduced Zia Seraj as Head of the National Directorate of Security, Abdul Wahid Qatali as Governor for Herat and Dawod Sultanzoy as Mayor of Kabul, and Ayub Salangi as deputy head of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance.

Even in a recent public address, Ghani proposed the leadership of the Supreme Peace Council to his political opponent Abdullah Abdullah, who has announced a parallel government in opposition to election results which pronounced Ghani as a second-term president.

Dr. Abdullah wrote in his Facebook page welcomed a recent statement by prominent Afghan politicians for a solution to the ongoing crisis and extended the deadline for negotiations and mediation efforts.

Earlier, Abdullah, whose patience wore thin, had given a deadline for the president to reach a settlement with him. That deadline ended this week. Abdullah’s aides are warning that they will also introduce their cabinet if Ghani doesn’t halt his appointments.

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