Afghan presidential rivals Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday signed a power sharing deal to form a National Unity Government. The signing ceremony took place at the presidential palace in Kabul with outgoing President Hamid Karzai and Afghan elders as well as religious leaders present on the occasion. The two candidates shook hands and hugged each other after singing the long-awaited political deal. Karzai then briefly addressed the gathering and congratulated both Ghani and Abdullah on reaching the power sharing arrangement.
“We hope that you (candidates) can continue the things that the current government started,” the outgoing president said. Karzai has been in power since the US-led coalition ousted the Taliban from power in late 2001. Karzai added, “We (the government) are not involved in the content of the power sharing deal. It is their responsibility. I hope they do what I could not.”
The Independent Election Commission is also due to announce the outcome of the June 14 presidential runoff vote that is expected to declare Ghani the winner.