UN chief welcomes unity government deal in Afghanistan

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Moon welcomes Afghan unity govt deal
United Nations, Sept 22:  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday welcomed the conclusion of the presidential polls in Afghanistan as well as an agreement on formation of a national unity government in the country.

"The agreement between the candidates to form a government of national unity and the Independent Election Commission's announcement of the president-elect paves the way for a stable and more prosperous future for the country," Xinhua quoted Ban as saying in a statement. Ban also congratulated Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the president-elect of Afghanistan.

Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Sunday declared Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the new president of Afghanistan following the audit conducted by the IEC and supervised by the United Nations.

The announcement came hours after Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah signed an agreement on the structure of the national unity government, ending the months-long election deadlock.

Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was declared as the new president of Afghanistan

Under the agreement, one of the candidates is to become the president and the other, or one of his aides is to become the chief executive, a post equal to that of prime minister in the national unity government.

Afghanistan's third presidential election since the fall of Taliban regime was held April 5 but since none of the eight candidates secured more than 50 percent of the votes, a runoff was conducted between front-runners Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani June 14.

Earlier in the day, the spokespersons for Ghani and Abudullah announced that the inauguration of the new government will take place by the end of month, possibly Sept 29.

"The new government will face serious challenges, and I urge the president-elect, the chief executive officer, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, and all political actors in Afghanistan to quickly form the government of national unity," Ban said.

Reiterating the support of the international community for Afghanistan, Ban said the United Nations remains committed to working closely with the new government of Afghanistan.

IANS

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