Afghanistan’s Ghani Rejects US Peace Plan, Will Offer Elections

No interim govt, but election could be held in six months

Officials familiar with the process say that Afghanistan’s President Ghani will reject the US peace proposal, and is set to offer a counter-proposal next month in Turkey. The objectionable part was ultimately the US proposal for an interim government.

Ghani had long ruled out the idea of an interim government, presenting it as anti-democratic. Since the US pushed the plan, it was endorsed by multiple factions, both in Afghanistan and abroad.

The US saw interim government leading to free elections, but Ghani is hoping to skip that part. His proposal will reportedly be that there could be elections in Afghanistan within the next six months.

Ghani will only make the proposal, officials say, if Taliban figure Baibatullah Akhundzada attends. He is the son of the Taliban founder Mullah Omar. It is not clear why this condition was added.

Ghani’s plan still boils down to the US plan with fewer steps, though keeping his government in power for the “free election” is likely to raise eyebrows given how widely contested the votes they’ve run in the past were.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.