Ghani is Af Prez, to share power with rival

Ghani is Af Prez, to share power with rival

Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani was declared Afghanistan’s next president on Sunday, hours after signing a power-sharing deal with his rival Abdullah Abdullah that ended a prolonged standoff over the disputed result.

Allegations of massive fraud in the June 14 vote sparked political crisis as both candidates claimed victory, paralysing the country at a key moment with US-led troops winding down their 13-year war against the Taliban.

 When the long-awaited “unity government” deal was finally signed, Ghani embraced Abdullah briefly at a low-key ceremony in the presidential palace that lasted less than 10 minutes.

Abdullah will now nominate a “chief executive officer”, which will be similar to a prime minister — setting up a tricky balance of power as Afghanistan enters a new era.

Neither candidate spoke at the palace ceremony, and it remained uncertain when they would address the nation or when the unity agreement would be officially published.

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