Ashraf Ghani has been sworn in for the second term as the President of Afghanistan following a months-long political crisis due to controversy over the election results. Ghani was trying to broker a deal with his rival Abdullah 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 also denounced the results calling the election “fake and staged”. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson of the Taliban, said in a statement that it rejects the “meaningless appointment” and considers it a failed effort at “throwing dust” in the eyes of the nation.
“Just as announcing Ashraf Ghani a president under the cover of fake elections is unlawful and has no legal basis, it is also in conflict with the contents of the ongoing peace process while keeping in mind the current sensitive circumstances of the Afghan issue,” the statement read.