Afghanistan's ex-chief executive Abdullah Abdullah held a parallel inauguration declaring himself the President after talks with Ashraf Ghani fell through. Kabul’s security was heightened after the marathon talks to prevent the formation of two clashing governments failed and Abdullah decided to hold a parallel oath ceremony.
Meanwhile, Ghani has been sworn-in for the second term as the President of Afghanistan following a months-long political crisis which seems to be worsening with two power centres in the country. Ghani made efforts to broker a deal with Abdullah who cried foul over the results and threatened to form a parallel government.
Last month, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) declared incumbent Ghani as the winner of the presidential elections. According to the IEC, Ghani secured 50.64 per cent of the total votes polled, estimated as more than 1.8 million, and Abdullah got 39.52 per cent of the votes. However, Abdullah accused Ghani of securing a win through voter fraud and refused to accept the final results. He also claimed of establishing an “inclusive government” which caused immense worry for an already fragile democracy.
Abdullah’s separate claim to power has created a fear of the Taliban gaining ground in a political vacuum, especially when the US forces have signed a deal to withdraw gradually. The Taliban has already ended the partial truce with the Afghan government which helped reduce violence in the region.
The political climate of Afghanistan currently looks grim as Defence Minister has threatened the Taliban of starting attack if they don’t stop violence within a week. Defence Minister Asadullah Khalid said in a statement that Afghan forces will remain in defence mode until the end of this week because of the peace agreement. But Khalid warned that Afghan troops will “target the enemy everywhere” if the Taliban do not stop attacks by the end of the week.