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UN urges unity government in Afghanistan
September 30, 2014, 6:47 am

Ghani's (second from left) first act as president was to appoint Abdullah (far left) the chief executive officer of the country [Xinhua]

Ghani’s (second from left) first act as president was to appoint Abdullah (far left) the chief executive officer of the country [Xinhua]

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on the people of Afghanistan to work toward national unity a day after a new president was inaugurated into office in the capital Kabul.

Ban offered his congratulations to President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and the country’s new chief executive officer Abdullah Abdullah.

Both former presidential candidates had claimed victory in the June 2014 second round election and have been locked in allegations of electoral fraud.

To break the deadlock, the US brokers a UN-supervised audit of 22,000 ballot boxes in late July and August.

Despite Abdullah threatening to walk out of the political process and form his own government, the audit of nearly eight million votes determined that Ghani had won the election.

The results were announced on September 21, followed by talks to defuse the political crisis by creating a power sharing mechanism that would satisfy both candidates.

As soon as Ghani took the oath of office, he appointed Abdullah the chief executive of his government.

Ghani replaces Hamid Karzai, who had been president since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban.

The first task for the new power-sharing authority is to appoint cabinet ministers and form a national unity government.

“The secretary-general notes the serious challenges facing Afghanistan and calls for the new government to be formed quickly and to work with all Afghans in a spirit of national unity,” a statement from the UN secretary-general said.

“He applauds the great determination, patience and strength demonstrated by the Afghan people, and encourages the new government to uphold these virtues as it moves the country forward.”

Source: Agencies

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