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Editorial: Delaying the inevitable

The Afghan presidential saga continues to disrupt the political and economic state of affairs of the country, besides spilling over into the peace process. Given the impasse among the feuding leaders – President Ashraf Ghani and self-proclaimed president of ‘inclusive government’ Abdullah Abdullah – the political elite have taken it upon themselves to mediate and conciliate them. In addition to some Wolesi Jirga members, ex-president Hamid Karzai, religious scholar Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, former speaker Yunus Qanuni and Karim Khalili feel the need to resolve the differences between the twin presidents who have locked horns over assuming the mantle of the presidency since weeks. In a recent development, a joint statement by these politicos called on President Ghani to halt appointments – something that was accepted. As suggested by the political leaders, a presidential spokesperson announced Ghani’s decision to postpone the nomination of new Cabinet members for five days in order to pave the way for ending the political deadlock. Meanwhile, the same statement had asked Abdullah to extend his ‘ultimatum’ – through which he was supposed to introduce his cabinet as well – for a political settlement to be reached. Although these moves seemingly promise to be indications of progress and future political stability in the country, it is, in fact, not as such. The Afghan masses have the experience of witnessing the fiascoes of a government controlled by two reins over the past five years and they don’t want its repetition. Nevertheless, resolving the political deadlock through none other than power-sharing has currently turned into a ‘general call’ of all parties – we see how insistently the international community and the US demand inclusive government. One would say wise counsel is prevailing among the twin presidents as they have compromised a bit but in reality, they have no other choice but to come together now – even if it comes at a price of losing electoral legitimacy or means the demise of democracy in Afghanistan for that matter. Under the guise of starting or ceasing appointments and giving ultimatums, these leaders are only temporarily delaying the inevitable, which is agreeing on the same old, same old power-sharing deal to satiate their thirst for power. Sadly, they act as such by claiming to be protecting and defending the rights and demands of the Afghan masses while promoting their own disguised personal interests. These leaders are postponing another ‘national unity government’ merely for the purpose of finding justifications for their actions; lest they forget, the Afghan people recognize what’s cooking behind the scenes now.

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