MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - Afghanistan's two presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, signed a power- sharing deal Sunday, three months after a disputed run-off led to turmoil, the BBC reported.
After weeks of negotiations, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai will become president while Abdullah Abdullah will hold the newly created role of chief executive (similar to that of a prime minister) in a deal signed in a televised ceremony. Outgoing president, Hamid Karzai, congratulated them.
"On behalf of the Afghan nation, I am congratulating them on this understanding and agreement," Hamid Karzai was cited as saying by the BBC.
The dispute was mediated by US Secretary of State John Kerry who in July persuaded the candidates to agree on power- sharing. Kerry visited Kabul again in August and followed up via phone in an attempt to seal the deal.
In Afghanistan's first democratic power transfer, Abdullah Abdullah's followers mostly from the north said they would create a parallel government or react violently if Ghani Adhmadzai, a former finance minister, who is supported mostly in the south and east, won.
Both sides accused each other of fraud in the elections. But Ghani Adhmadzi, received 55 percent of the votes, showed favor for coming into a power-sharing deal due to the ethnic politics.
The new Afghan government will have a cabinet of ministers, including CEO Abdullah Abdullah and two deputies, chaired by the president who will take strategic decisions. Day-to-day administration will be carried out by a new Council of Ministers, chaired by the CEO, and including all ministers.
Abduallah Abdullah will also have the power to appoint senior positions on equal terms with Ghani Ahmadzai.