Kabul: In a much-awaited end to the impasse of Afghanistan presidential election results, the rival presidential candidates sealed the crucial power-sharing deal with an embrace.
The deal will facilitate the formation of a national unity government, with Abdullah Abdullah ceding the presidency to Ashraf Ghani and himself taking the role of the “Chief executive officer”.
The signing of the key deal which ended the months of deadlock, was broadcast live on national television.
Both the candidates were seen embracing each other after signing the deal as the incumbent President Hamid Karzai watched.
The deal is set to end the weeks of political deadlock after both the candidates claimed victory in the June 14 presidential run-off election, accusing each other of manipulating the results by fraud.
The spokesperson to the outgoing President Hamid Karzai, Aimal Faizi, had yesterday informed about the signing of the deal yesterday in a tweet.
Presidential candidates Dr AG & Dr AA will sign an agreement on the structure of a National Unity Government today@1200 (Live coverage RTA)
— Aimal Faizi (@AimalFaizi) September 21, 2014
President #Karzai & Dr Abdullah met today.Both candidates are expected to sign an agreement on the structure of National Unity Gov tomorrow.
— Aimal Faizi (@AimalFaizi) September 20, 2014
Under the power-sharing deal, Dr Abdullah has agreed to cede the presidency to Ashraf Ghani and will himself assume the role of chief executive officer, who will have powers of a Prime Minister.
According to a New York Times report, Mr Abdullah had agreed to the power-sharing deal as early as last week, but he said he would sign it only if the results of the vote audit, were not released, as they were “so tainted by fraud that they should never be made public”.
However, the final result of the presidential election are set to be declared later today.
Months of dispute over the election results had threatened to pull the country back into the disastrous times of 1990s and emboldened Taliban, that attempted to cash in on the political uncertainty by launching attacks and raids.
The new government faces a tough task ahead as the US troops are set to withdraw by the end of the year, leaving the security's onus on Afghan forces.
One of the foremost tasks on the new government's shoulder is to sign the Bilateral security Agreement (BSA) with the US, which will allow some US troops to stay back in Afghanistan to train the security forces as the foreign troops are set to withdraw by the end of this year.
The BSA deal, which is also necessary for the continued flow of aid to the cash-strapped war torn country, was refused by the incumbent President Hamid Karzai. However, both Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah had during their campaigning, promised to sign the deal.