Chaos and confusion: Afghan rival leaders took parallel presidential oaths

Afghanistan’s two rival leaders, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah took parallel presidential oaths today, Monday, March 09, 2020, in the capital Kabul. The oath-taking ceremonies were held in the Presidential Palace and Sapidar Palace.  

US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, NATO’s top commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller and some foreign diplomats were in attendance in the Presidential Palace where Ashraf Ghani took oath of presidency.  

Abdullah Abdullah, Ghani’s rival who represents a political bloc, simultaneously took presidential oath in the Sapidar Palace. He was surrounded by a crowd of his supporters.

Both Ghani and Abdullah claimed victory following a controversial election held last September. The two leaders, while taking separate oaths, vowed that they would protect the Afghan Constitution and safeguard Afghanistan’s sovereignty. Abdullah and Ghani said that they would form inclusive governments and remain committed to achieve a lasting peace.        

Inauguration ceremonies of the two rival Afghan leaders have laid the country in political chaos and public confusion. Amid division and chaos, Afghanistan is facing a hard time, with the US forces preparing to leave the country, and the Taliban insurgents struggling to put more pressure on the Afghan government in Kabul.

The parallel presidential oaths taken by Ghani and Abdullah have confused Afghan people who are tired of unemployment, insecurity and political instability.  

Ghani’s inauguration speech was interrupted by a rocket landing.