Abdullah himself to take over as CEO
KABUL: Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, runner-up in the disputed presidential election, has made up his mind to assume the chief executive position, a well-placed source said on Wednesday.
As part of his deal with president-elect Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on the national unity government, the ex-foreign minister himself would take over as CEO, the source confided to Pajhwok Afghan News.
Close to Abdullah and familiar with his homework for implementation of the agreement, the aide insisted the decision was irreversible. He ruled out the possibility of another candidate being nominated for the top post.
“This is a settled issue. Ever since negotiations on the national unity government were launched, Abdullah has been tipped for the job. The two sides have already reached an agreement on this matter,” he added.
Under the July 8 pact, brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry, the losing runner would take over as CEO, the source explained. But the accord signed before the election results were announced, the CEO position would not have sweeping executive powers.
Based on information from Abdullah’s choices for VPs Mohammad Khan and Mohammad Mohaqiq, they will have both CEO and opposition posts. But insiders say the government is yet to name the opposition leader.
Some members of the Meshrano Jirga — upper house of parliament — on Tuesday asked Abdullah to work himself as CEO and avoid nominating someone else. They also condemned the way presidential election results were announced.
CEO office: During the electoral campaign, many noted figures joined the presidential candidates based on promises held out to them. In this regard, Ahmad Zia Massoud, brother of the anti-Soviet resistance fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud, joined hands with Ahmadzai.
Ahmadzai has reportedly offered Massoud the CEO post that would be created after amendments to the constitution. But the final agreement binds the candidates to hand this vital post to the runner-up.
CEO authority: The CEO will serve as prime minister after two years of working. A Loya Jirga will convene to suggest constitutional amendments, converting the CEO position into prime ministry.
The president will specify tasks for the CEO, important aspects of which will be decided with mutual understanding. The President, as a head of state, will chair the cabinet, include the vice presidents, the CEO, his assistants, ministers and advisors.
The CEO will be responsible to the government and report to the president. In accordance with the political accord, the president will issue a decree introducing the CEO into the cabinet. He will advise the president on high-ranking postings and governance-related issues.
Importantly, the CEO will also be a member of the National Security Council. His two aides, the former vice-presidential hopefuls, will serve as assistants to the CEO.