Afghan Govt to Postpone Inauguration After US Request

US declines to recognize election results

After repeatedly delaying the Afghanistan election at the request of the US, President Ghani will now be postponing his inauguration, once again because the US asked. CEO Abdullah Abdullah, who claims he won the vote, is also postponing his own inauguration.

What the US plans here isn’t entirely clear, though a Taliban peace deal is to be signed Saturday, and they seem to not want inaugurations in the way. Conspicuously, however, the US is also declining to recognize the results of the election, saying only that they’ve “noted” that the election commission named Ghani the winner.

This suggests the US may be trying to avoid the election dispute getting in the way of the Taliban deal, though it still isn’t clear that the US intends to get directly involved. Last election, they decided to name Ghani and Abdullah co-winners, creating the CEO office for Abdullah.

Now, the US is chiding Ghani and Abdullah for “destabilizing actions,” and it’s certainly going to be tough for the Taliban to enter into talks with the Afghan government when it’s not clear who they’ll be negotiating with.

There’s nothing for it, though, with an indecisive election and repeated US delays leaving Afghanistan with an uncertain government. This may be sub-optimal for the peace process, but it’s par for the course for Afghanistan.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.