Afghan candidate puts faith in deal
KABUL, Afghanistan — One of two contestants in Afghanistan's deadlocked presidential election said on Monday that a U.S.-brokered deal for a full ballot audit pulled the country back from the brink and put government legitimacy back on track.
Former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, speaking in his first interview since the agreement was reached on Saturday with his rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, said the deal has laid the foundation for a national unity government.
Ahmadzai said he and Abdullah will meet face to face at his home on Tuesday to talk and begin fleshing out the framework for that government with participation from both camps and all communities, and he will later be hosted in turn by Abdullah.
The former finance minister said his fears of a return to Afghanistan's darkest days helped motivate the two politicians' agreement. He said he is determined Afghanistan will not be torn apart as it was during the wars of the 1990s nor as Iraq is being torn apart today by the Sunni insurgency against the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Ahmadzai said comparisons between Afghanistan and Iraq are inappropriate.
“I am not Maliki, and Afghanistan is not Iraq,” he declared. “What happened in the last days should show you our commitment to inclusiveness.”
The deal, which was brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry in two days of shuttling between the candidates here, has been hailed by Afghans of all stripes. Some feared a failure to agree on the election result would splinter power and leave the Western-backed government even more vulnerable to a renewed Taliban insurgency.
Disputed results showed Ahmadzai well in the lead, but supporters of Abdullah charged that was only because of widespread vote fraud.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Russia scoffs at alliance with West on Syria
- Watchdog counts $1 billion wasted in Afghanistan
- Suicide bomber targets crowd of Shiites in Nigeria
- France hails 130 victims of Paris terrorist attacks
- Colombia frees 30 jailed FARC rebels as peace talk gesture
- Belgian raids nab 16 in hunt for terrorism suspects
- ISIS claims hotel attack in Egypt
- French lawmakers vote to continue airstrikes against Islamic State
- In Uganda, Pope Francis pays tribute to nation’s martyrs