President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced the appointment of Dr. Fazal Mahmood Fazli as head of the administrative office of the president. Fazli was previously serving as senior adviser to the president on political affairs.
The new appointment comes as political tensions continue in the country between Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah over the election results.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Abdullah Abdullah has warned that if Abdullah’s proposal is not accepted by the Presidential Palace tomorrow, Abdullah will also announce his own cabinet.
“If we do not get a concrete result, we will implement the measures that we have considered, and they will be implemented very soon InshaAllah,” said Faraidoon Khozon, a spokesman to Abdullah.
However, Ghani’s deputy spokesman said that the palace is ready to talk to resolve the disagreements.
“The government is ready to consider the logical demands, we support that disagreements to be resolved through negotiations,” said Dawa Khan Menapal, deputy spokesman to Ghani.
This follows an announcement on April 3 in which Ghani publicly proposed that the leadership of the peace council be taken on by his political opponent Abdullah Abdullah, who disputed the recent election results and has announced a parallel government.
“His (Abdullah’s) protocol can be the protocol of a vice president, his security, his budget, his decision- making, all can be discussed. We have full flexibility,” Ghani said at the time.
Abdullah, however, rejected Ghani’s proposal.
Abdullah in his proposal to Ghani demanded an executive role in the government, the chairmanship of Council of Ministers and the invalidation of the election results.
Nevertheless, some other Afghan politicians have called on both sides to compromise and focus on national issues.
“Now we have to feel responsible if we haven’t so far, we must understand the danger and compromise on our demands and avoid selfishness, we must let the Afghan people feel the ownership of the country and the peace process,” said Rahmatullah Nabil, a former presidential candidate.
Despite some efforts by some mainstream Afghan politicians, such as former president Hamid Karzai, there is foreseeable way forward toward the settlement of the political tension. However, aides close to Afghan politicians are hopeful that the ongoing political stalemate will be ended soon.
“We are optimistic that the two doctors (Ghani and Abdullah) understand the current situation of Afghanistan and reach a national consensus,” said Shahzada Massoud, a close aide to Hamid Karzai.
The two sides could not reach an agreement when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Kabul last month and held meetings with both leaders (together and separately). As a consequence, the US announced a $1 billion reduction of its annual aid to Afghanistan, but mentioned that the decision will be reviewed if a solution is found to the political impasse.