Saturday, 3 September 2016

President of Afghanistan Ghani and CEO Abdullah agreed on key issues during their 3rd meeting

The Office of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Afghan Government said in press statement that President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah have agreed on key issues during their third meeting. Without giving further details, the statement added the two leaders have reached an agreement on the establishment of a constitutional amendment committee, electoral reforms, and designation of members of a commission on oversight of the implementation of the political agreement of the National Unity Government (NUG). 
It seems that the tensions between the two leaders have begun to ease; however, the reality is otherwise. The real time for differences is yet to come. Now they have only agreed to fulfil the promises made two years ago during the formation of the National Unity Government, so it is not something new. What the CEO’s Press Office has said in its statement has, indeed, been mentioned in the agreement of the NUG, but with some difference in its phrasing. While the president and the CEO have failed to deliver over the past two years, they still cannot be expected to keep the new promises. The two leaders spent their first two years on challenging each other’s decisions, and were so busy bickering over minor issues that they even forgot about their people. Because of their political wrangling, the distance between the government and Afghan people is at all-time big, and that since the ouster of the Taliban, Afghans have never been as hopeless and disappointed as now. Although the government characterizes the recent rapprochement between the president and the CEO as a step forward, the way they work with each other signals that they are yet to take up and settle the real thorny issues. When the electoral reforms kick off, it is mostly likely that they will start to stand out against each other because both differ on the interpretation of electoral reforms. The CEO terms what the president sees as electoral reforms against his interests, and vice versa. Also, they seem to be at loggerheads on the amendment of the Constitution. By and large, we can say that the priorities of the NUG leaders not only don’t match with each other, but are also at odds in most cases. Thus, when even their priorities are at variance, reaching an agreement on key issues such as electoral reforms and amendment of the Constitution appear more problematic. Accordingly, we can draw a conclusion that the discords between the president and the CEO, and challenging each other’s decisions will continue as long as they share the power.

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