The US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged the presidential contenders Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to work cooperatively on the critical issues facing Afghanistan as audit continues.
Kerry, in an op-ed published by Tolonews, appealed to both candidates to translate the broader power-sharing agreement they reached with him earlier this month into a strong working relationship in the new government, “whoever wins.”
“The time for politics is over. The time for cooperation is at hand. There is no time to waste,” Kerry wrote.
The agreement to form a national unity government was reached between the two candidates following talks brokered by Kerry earlier this month.
The visit by Kerry to Kabul last month, came amid fears that the disputed presidential election could endanger the stability of the country.
Kerry also responded to concerns regarding the formation of parliamentary system in Afghanistan, and conflicting reports suggesting that the winning president will have little power over a new prime minister or vice versa.
He wrote, “I was there in the room, and I can tell you what is not in that one-page document. “It respects Afghan institutions and the role of the president as the head of government. It does not establish a parliamentary system.”
Kerry said, “It creates a new position of chief executive who will report to the president until the president convenes a loya jirga to determine whether a permanent change is in the best interests of the country.”
“What the agreement does provide is a critical opportunity for both candidates to move beyond political competition to real statesmanship,” Kerry, said adding that, “Every democracy reaches a decisive moment where the interests of the country must outweigh the interests of politicians. Afghanistan is at that critical point today.”