Formation of a Government of National Unity and Outcome of Elections in Afghanistan

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 21, 2014
Afghanistan's Presidential Election Candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, left, and Dr. Ashraf Ghani, right, Shake Hands After Signing a Power-Sharing Deal

Today, Afghanistan's presidential election candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani signed a power-sharing deal, and the Independent Election Commission announced Dr. Ghani as President-Elect of Afghanistan.

"This was a moment of extraordinary statesmanship. These two men have put the people of Afghanistan first, and they've ensured that the first peaceful democratic transition in the history of their country begins with national unity," Secretary of State John Kerry said upon the formation of a unity government.

"Americans know very well that the road to democracy is contentious and challenging, but it's a road that leads to the best place. It doesn't happen overnight. We've had our own contentious elections and witnessed their aftermath. I've lived some of them. But if my recent visits to Kabul and the hours upon hours on the phone with these two men have taught me anything, it's how invested Afghanistan is in this historic effort."

On the outcome of elections, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said, "We congratulate President-elect Dr. Ashraf Ghani. We look forward to a close partnership with Dr. Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah as they form and work together in the Government of National Unity.

"Most importantly, we congratulate the people of Afghanistan. We recognize the millions of Afghan men and women who courageously went to the polls to vote on April 5 and again on June 14, defying Taliban threats to exercise their right to vote and to take their part in advancing democracy in Afghanistan. The bravery and collective hopes of Afghans must be respected by the government of national unity, which can now use its strong and credible mandate, and the legitimacy provided by the votes of millions of supporters, to implement a national reform agenda that will improve the lives of all Afghans."

U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham said, "...This critical point in Afghanistan’s history demands that all Afghans, and especially their political, religious, and civil society leaders, come together in support of the new president, the chief executive officer, and their teams as they build a government based on genuine partnership.  The United States looks forward to close cooperation with the new President and his government as they build on the progress which Afghanistan has achieved.  We stand with the Afghan people, and will continue to support the country’s security forces, governmental institutions, and economic development."

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