The public outburst of the Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah revealed bitter internal divisions and distrust among the two leaders that threaten their US-brokered power sharing agreement.
On the eve of the International Youths Day, Dr Abdullah angrily denounced his governing partner, President Ashraf Ghani, as unfit to govern.
Dr. Abdullah, who belongs to Jamiat Ismali party addressing a group of young people and some Jamiatees, said he had struggled to achieve progress with President. Ghani during the two years of national unity government on the issue of electoral reforms.
Dr. Abdullah, on Thursday, accused Preside Ghani of making decisions unilaterally and of failing to consult with him on appointments. He also said he had made little progress with President Ghani on election reform, which had been one of his conditions for agreeing to the power sharing arrangement.
“Over a period of three months you don’t have time to see your Chief Executive Officer one-on-one for even an hour or two?’’ he said, addressing Dr. Ghani. “What does your highness spend your time on?’’
“There are arguments in any government,’’ he added, “but if someone does not have the patience for discussion, then they are not fit for the presidency, either.’’
Dr. Abdullah’s such remarks caught everyone by surprise. There are some questions that is boggling everyone’s mind are: why the CEO, in such critical juncture, revealed the internal divisions and distrust? Why does he criticize President Ghani on just everything? Why he never criticize himself?
The Taliban are threatening the provincial capital in Helmand Province in the South and Kunduz in the North. While the delegation of Hezbe-e-Islmai Party, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, is in Kabul to finalize the date for signing the peace agreement.
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― Adolf Hitler
Bizarrely, Abdullah continues to proclaim and choose to believe, against all subsequent evidence, that he was the winner of the controversial elections and that he and his party scarified for the sake of national interests. Though, the independent election commission of Afghanistan announced Dr. Ghani as the winner of presidential elections. Abdullah claims that President Ghani makes all the decision unilaterally and that he doesn’t have the time to meet him in three months, while he and President Ghani attended the Warsaw Summit together and both were on the same ten-hour long flight to Poland just a month ago. Dr. Abdullah is also seen in all cabinet meetings together with President Ghani. He is also part of the National Procurement Commission, National Security Council, National Economic Council and many other key decision making bodies led by President Ghani, so how can he be isolated while a vast majority and key decisions are made in his presence? And how can President Ghani make the decisions unilaterally? How he and his followers scarified for the national interests while they lost elections, equally committed fraud in the elections and threaten the country for another civil war? These are the questions that Dr. Abdullah should have answered before making the public outburst. Probably, a more likely place for Dr. Abdullah to criticize President Ghani was not his Office Garden and media but the cabinet meetings.
Favor Party Interest Over National Interests
Dr. Abdullah’s outburst is a desperate attempt to regain support of the Jamiat leaders who increasing become disappointed over the failure of Dr. Abdullah to challenge President Ghani on various matters, particularly on appointments of Jamiatees in key government positions and losing major procurement contracts, which were previously provided to Jamiat and their allies.
Dr. Abdullah was particularly upset when President Ghani appointed the Attorney General, Head of Civil Services Commission and, especially a former election chief whom Mr. Abdullah accused of election fraud as Ambassador to Spain. According to some media reports, Abdullah was also upset with the appointment of President Ghani’s elderly uncle as ambassador to Russia, a country with whom Jamiat party had covert relations since many years and received plenty of support to fight Taliban.
While Abdullah and other Jamiat leaders realize that Dr. Abdullah’s remarks were against the norms and spirit of governance and an immature political act, they still believe that it was a good move to pressure President Ghani in order receive more than what they deserve. However, Dr. Abdullah and Jamiat leaders must understand that threating the state and a legal president will have serious repercussion that may eventually plunge the country into some serious crises.
President Ghani was elected as the president of the country through the nationwide elections, the National Unity Government (NUG) deal was signed to protect the country from crises but not to choose the president. During the visit of President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah to the United States, in March 2015, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who brokered the NUG deal, clarified that President Ghani was not required by any law to share power and create a unity government, he also praised the leader for the sacrifice.
“(Ghani) was not required by any law, by any rule, by any precedent to share power and create a unity government,” said Kerry, “but he did so because he believed it was in the interest of Afghanistan and it was the best way to move forward.”
Dr. Abdullah should also understand that today’s Afghanistan is not the Afghanistan of 1992, isolated from the entire world. Dr. Abdullah should recognize that the international community will stand with the Afghan Nation and government not with a single party or a few individuals. Dr. Abdullah and Jamiat supporters must remove the undesirable personal motives and act responsibly, honestly, and with integrity, only then they will be appreciated by the Afghan nation and international community.
Ahmad Hasib Farhan is a graduate of Kabul University and holds a Master degree from Japan in Public Policy and Economics. Farhan is an Afghan analyst and commentator on political and socio-economic affairs in Afghanistan. Farhan can be reached at email@example.com.