Both the incumbent1
, Ashraf Ghani, and his main electoral opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, were sworn in as president of Afghanistan in rival inauguration2
ceremonies. In the meantime, talks between Afghan politicians and the insurgents3
of the Taliban, which had been due to start on March 10th, are on hold, as the two sides argue about a planned prisoner exchange.
The rival inauguration ceremonies for incumbent President Ashraf Ghani and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah were held at the exact same time Monday.
That’s thrown the next and crucial step in the U.S.-Taliban peace deal into chaos4
Washington’s peace envoy5
was reportedly going back and forth6
between the two Afghan rivals into the early hours Monday.
The Afghan government and the Taliban are supposed to hold talks on a road map for the country’s future. But the disputed election means the Afghan government side appears unable to present a united front.
Ghani was declared the winner of last September’s election. Abdullah has charged fraud in the vote.