Afghan President, rival sign power sharing deal
Ghani to retain Presidency; Abdullah to lead key council
- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and political rival Abdullah Abdullah have signed a power-sharing agreement two months after both declared themselves the winner of last September’s presidential election.
- The deal calls for Abdullah to lead the country’s National Reconciliation High Council and some members of Abdullah’s team would be included in Ghani’s Cabinet.
- The Reconciliation Council has been given the authority to handle and approve all affairs related to Afghanistan’s peace process.
- A technical team will work on the implementation of the agreement and details will be shared later.
- Afghanistan has been in political disarray since the country’s Election Commission in December announced Mr. Ghani had won the September 28 election with more than 50% of the vote.
- They have been locked in a power struggle since then and the discord prompted the Trump administration to announce it would cut $1 billion in assistance to Afghanistan if the two weren’t able to work out their differences.
- A peace agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban signed February 29 calls for U.S. and NATO troops to leave Afghanistan.
- Despite 18 years and billions of dollars in international aid, Afghanistan remains desperately poor.
- The poverty level soared from 35% of the population in 2012 to more than 55% last year.
- Poverty in Afghanistan is defined as a person who survive on $1 or less a day.
- Successive Afghan governments, including Ghani’s, have been accused by international watchdogs of widespread corruption.
- Afghanistan has performed only limited testing so far with about 22,000 tested.
- The country has more than 6, 400 confirmed infections in a nation of 36.6 million.
- As more testing becomes available, the country’s confirmed infection numbers will likely rise sharply, according to public health officials.