Afghanistan power-sharing deal struck

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Afghanistan power-sharing deal struck

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The bitter dispute over Afghanistan’s presidential election is expected to be settled on Sunday (21 September) with the announcement of the final results.

A signing ceremony on the formation of a unity government is also set to be held in Kabul.

The two main candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, both accused the other of electoral fraud after June’s presidential run-off vote.

But aides on both sides say a power-sharing deal was struck on Saturday (20 September).

It came after all eight million ballots cast in the run-off vote were recounted in a UN-monitored audit.

It is understood that Ghani, a former finance minister and World Bank official, is likely to become the new president.

Abdullah, a former foreign minister, appears set to either hold the position of – or have the authority to nominate – a chief executive with expanded powers.

The formation of a unity government will potentially ease months of tension, which have destabilised Afghanistan while foreign troops have been withdrawing.

The row also killed hopes of a smooth transition from Hamid Karzai, who has ruled since soon after the Taliban were ousted in 2001.