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Two parallel ceremonies. The winner and loser have both declared themselves Afghanistan’s president.

Ashraf Ghani (in the center) during the presidential pledge. Photo:EPA


The World Daily | News Desk           MARCH  10th   2020


Two parallel ceremonies. The winner and loser have both declared themselves Afghanistan’s president.


Afghanistan has plunged into a "constitutional crisis" - writes AFP. Both the winner of the presidential election, the current head of state Ashraf Ghani, and his rival Prime Minister Abdullah Abdullah were pledged as the country’s president on Monday. This took place during two separate ceremonies. The head of government questions the results of the October vote and claims that he won them.


Ghani was pledged in for a second term at the presidential palace in Kabul. The ceremony was attended by many foreign diplomats, including a special US envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad and the commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Austin Scott Miller. "In the name of God, I swear to guard the holy religion of Islam, respect the constitution and oversee its application," said Ghani, quoted by AFP.

During the ceremony in the capital city of Kabul two explosions were heard. “I'm not wearing a bulletproof vest, only a shirt. I will stay even if I have to sacrifice myself,” said Ghani, who did not leave the stage, where he spoke after the pledge when the alarm in the presidential palace sounded.

According to Reuters, citing witnesses, Ghani's pledging ceremony was disturbed by the sounds of two rockets that fell on the premises of the presidential palace. There was no information about any victims and Ghani continued his speech. The president announced that the government he is currently creating will include not only members of his political camp. “We will create an inclusive government after consultation.” he announced.


He lost the election but declared himself the winner


Abdullah Abdullah, who also declared himself the winner of the election, refused to attend this ceremony. His entourage at the same time held a separate oath, suggesting that talks between the two political camps and Khalilzad, aimed at negotiating an agreement, did not produce results, according to Reuters.

A few minutes after Ghani's victory speech, at Sapedar Palace (prime minister's office), the defeated candidate of the September election - Abdullah Abdullah also declared himself head of state. He said that he would “defend independence, national sovereignty, territorial integrity of Afghanistan” and "Afghan interests."

Diplomats are now waiting to see if Abdullah will nominate his ministers and governors in parallel and whether they will take power by force, said two anonymous diplomatic sources that Reuters is citing.


Former Prime Minister of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah claims he has won the presidential election. Photo:EPA


"Constitutional crisis"


AFP writes about the "constitutional crisis" in Afghanistan. AP notes that Monday's events are plunging into chaos plans for intra-Afghan negotiations with the Taliban. Threatening political chaos a few days after the US-Taliban agreement to withdraw US-led international forces from Afghanistan, according to Reuters.

The celebrations scheduled for Monday morning were postponed to the afternoon of local time. Khalilzad tried to negotiate a last minute agreement between the long-standing political enemies, but there was no word about a breakthrough in this matter, notes Reuters.


Signing of the agreement by US and Taliban representatives. Photo:EPA/Stringer


The World Daily | News Desk