Afghanistan

Afghanistan in September 2014

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Elections and politics

September was a month of electoral anxieties and agreements. For the first half of the month, tensions mounted as the bitter, drawn-out investigation into election fraud remained unresolved. The demonstrators even accused the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) of aiding vote rigging.

On the 21st Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah Abdullah signed an agreement on the formation of the National Unity Government, paving the way for the country’s first democratic transfer of power. Later the same day the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced Ahmadzai as the President and Abdullah as the CEO, but failed to announce the percentage of votes each candidate had won. Days later they presented Ghani with a certificate stamping it with a 55% vote win, much to the discontent of Abdullah.

On the 29th, over a year after Ahmadzai and Abdullah had joined the race, they took their oath of office and formally established the National Unity Government. As expected, the Afghan Taliban was quick to issue a statement rejecting the new government, stating that it had been engineered by the United States.

As the elections came to an end, Hamid Karzai, the now former President, gave his last speech in which he criticised the US once again. He also inaugurated the presidential guest house which was to be his home but later claimed it was too lavish for his family.

On the 13th, Karzai and the new Indian Ambassador hoisted India’s gift of the largest Afghan flag, which is now flying over the capital on Wazir Akbar Khan hill. The 97 by 65 foot flag and its pole has cost India half million dollar.