Politics, World, Asia - pacific

Afghan President Ghani announces will seek second term

If reelected, Ghani vows to complete unfinished agenda of state-building in war-ravaged Afghanistan

Afghan President Ghani announces will seek second term Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

By Shadi Khan Saif

KABUL, Afghanistan 

This year’s Afghan presidential polls entered a critical stage on Sunday with the serving president, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, and his power-sharing CEO, Abdullah Abdullah, joining the race.

Ghani and Abdullah filed nomination papers for the July polls here along with their proposed deputies, indicating a hotly contested elections in the war-ravaged country.

Ghani replaced his current deputy, Abdul Rasheed Dostum, with former spy master Amrullah Saleh as proposed first vice president while retaining Sarwar Danish as the second proposed vice president. His electoral slogan is ‘State building.”

Ghani, a former World Bank economist, has been credited with drastic reforms particularly on the foreign policy and economic fronts besides rejuvenating the stalled peace process. However, he has been accused of being ill-tempered, ethno-centrist, and a micro-manager.

If reelected, the president vowed to complete his unfinished agenda of reforms, self-sufficiency, and peace.

Separately, Abdullah Abdullah – who has the backing of his divided Jamiat-e-Islami party and Dostum – said he would establish a prime ministership if he managed to win. He said his electoral team wants peace, but peace without stability and justice is not sustainable.

Though the Jamiat-e-Islami party has backed Abdullah, some top party leaders have already lent their support to another candidate, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, the former National Security Adviser.

Ghani’s proposed vice president, Saleh, is also a leader of the Jamiat party.

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