An Agreement is Reached in the Afghan Election Dispute, but What will it Mean?

In one of the first pieces of good news in months regarding the election in Afghanistan, today, Ghani and Abdullah signed a deal to establish a power sharing government.  Despite this good news, there are still worryingly few details and plenty of room for the arrangement to disintegrate.  In a typical quote on the deal Reuters wrote:  “Both sides said late on Saturday that the dispute over announcing results had been resolved but it was still unclear exactly what had been agreed upon.”  (See full article here)  The real question is whether the Afghan public will support a new arrangement and when so little information is being given to them, it’s hard to tell whether they should or not.  Even the White House, which has been overly optimistic throughout this process seemed hesitant stating: “We continue to call on all Afghans – including political, religious, and civil society leaders – to support this agreement and to come together in calling for cooperation and calm.”

Then next few days should begin to indicate whether there is support for this arrangement, but in the meantime, here’s a brief list of things that we don’t know about the deal:

  • When Ghani will be inaugurated president
  • What the powers of Abdullah will be as ‘Prime Minister’
  • How the deal might fit in with the Afghan constitution
  • Whether the results of June’s voting will ever be released
  • How quickly can the US and NATO sign a international forces status agreement
  • What does this mean for parliamentary elections scheduled next year, particularly considering the new centrality of the prime minister position
  • Whether this government has the ability to recoup any their lost legitimacy

 

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