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Leaders will sign power-sharing deal after longstanding dispute

AT News

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

The negotiations between the two leaders are finally culminating into a political settlement and a deal between president Ghani and Dr. Abdullah, presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Saturday. He adds that the deal is set to be signed at a later date.

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.

A copy of the proposed “political agreement” between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah has leaked in the media that pictures the future 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.

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