After the Independent Election Commission (IEC) declared incumbent Ashraf Ghani as the winner of the presidential elections, the main opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah rejected the result saying he will form his own “inclusive government”. 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.
Abdullah’s refusal to accept the final results and claims of establishing an “inclusive government” could jeopardise the peace negotiations with the Taliban. Speaking to his supporters in Kabul after the declaration of results, Ghani emphasised the importance of peace talks and said that the government will bring peace to the country.
Ghani congratulated another presidential candidate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who got 3.5 per cent vore, for participating in the elections and embracing democracy. Hekmatyar was declared a terrorist by the United States after he decided to take arms against the US and NATO but signed a peace agreement with Ghani in 2016.
“I congratulate him and he did a good job. We ask the Taliban as well to come and participate in elections,” said Ghani.
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.
Even after the United States claimed that its peace accord with the Taliban is “very close”, there has not been any decline in the intensity of insurgency operations. Despite continued efforts to arrive at a peace plan, violent attacks in Afghanistan jumped to record levels in the last quarter, a US had said watchdog in its report.
(With AP inputs)