The Endless Election Stalemate
Two days after presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah told a news conference that the process was faced a stalemate and that he would not accept a fraudulent election outcome, another presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai warned he was not going to compromise the constitution. Mr. Ahmadzai asserted that he is committed to the unity government deal and would continue talks with Abdullah’s camp. As the process of the vote audit has now completed, the two election teams are still differing over authority of the unity government’s chief executive. There were intense negotiations going on between the two sides in the past few days to find a resolution to the differences. However, the two sides so far have failed to a number of key issues of the power sharing deal that was mediated by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Based on the unity government agreement, the second-runner in the election would be appointed as chief executive. The tricky issue remaining between the sides is the authority and powers of the chief executive in the unity government. The two candidates are differing over who should preside cabinet meetings. While an internal efforts going for pressurizing the two candidates, there are now extensive efforts from the international community to influence the quarreling election camps over the formation of the new government.
There are unconfirmed reports of agreement the stakeholders on division of government ministries between the two camps. It seems the two sides are ready to make compromises in all areas of the government. Most likely, the two sides are going to divide government positions through making consensus. It seems that both sides have now somehow realized the situation. The two sides should be able to manage to share power successfully while keeping the aspirations of a democratic system.
The government has maintained to hold the inauguration ceremony of the winner of the elections soon and stress that the two sides must expedite it and reach agreement over the key points. Still it is not clear when exactly the inauguration of the new president will be hold. The inauguration is not possible at that date and the process would not be completed by then. In contrast, the international community, particularly the United States and the British government wield much influence over the ongoing process. The reason for this is that the process of vote audit is now entirely in foreigners’ control in Kabul. This is an opportunity for Afghans to be assisted by the foreign observers and avoid creating further messes.
The economic and security situations are deteriorating by passing each day. The economy is teetering on brinks of collapse as there is a sharp price hike and the government would soon be forced to cut budgets. This is while the Taliban insurgency is raging in most of the provinces with Taliban exploiting the political deadlock in Kabul. Therefore, it is crucial for the two candidates to find common grounds over the unity government and leading the country out of the ongoing crisis.