Political crisis in Afghanistan enters new stage as rivals declare themselves president

TEHRAN, Mar. 09 (MNA) – Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah took separate oaths as Afghan President to indicate a new stage of crisis in Afghanistan politics.

Minutes after Ashraf Ghani sworn in for a second term at the Presidential palace in Kabul, his rival Abdullah Abdullah took the same oath.

Ghani said during his inauguration ceremony on Monday that he will do everything possible for the development of Afghanistan and will engage in work with the cabinet in two weeks.

"I promise that I will do my best to help with the development of Afghanistan. I will start working with the cabinet two weeks later and will also include the government structure," Ghani said in his inauguration speech, Sputnik reported.

In the meantime, Ghani's rival Abdullah Abdullah is holding a parallel inauguration ceremony and refuses to recognize Ghani's presidency.

Earlier, the Afghan election commission declared Ghani the winner of the September vote last month but the inauguration was postponed to allow for talks with his outgoing chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah.

Abdullah, whose office was created under a power-sharing deal after the previous disputed election, threatened to have a parallel inauguration on the same day and create his own government.

The United States reportedly asked Ghani to delay taking the oath of office to negotiate with his old-time rival but nothing came of them. Both politicians have sent out invitations to competing ceremonies.

Some political figures of Afghanistan, including former president Hamid Karzai, have not reportedly attended any of the two ceremonies.  

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Al Jazeera that the political standoff between the top leaders is "not a good sign for prospects of peace in the country".

MNA/PR

News Code 156526

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