The US envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad shuttled between the offices of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah from Sunday morning until midnight trying to broker a deal between the two leaders to stop dual presidential inaugurations scheduled for early Monday morning.
The intense discussions began on Sunday morning when Ambassador Khalilzad met with Chief Executive Abdullah to see if Abdullah would agree to a compromise and become a senior minister or the head of a peace council in President Ghani’s government.
Abdullah demanded an executive prime minister’s role to oversee the peace process, and to hold sixty percent of the political posts in the government, which President Ghani rejected, sources said.
A document seen by TOLOnews, and confirmed by a number of people close to both sides, indicated that President Ghani proposed a power-sharing plan with Chief Executive Abdullah in the areas of security, governance and peace.
President Ghani offered 40% of his cabinet, including one National Security Council member post, to be filled with Abdullah allies, and he also offered the chairmanship of a "Supreme Peace Council" to Abdullah, which would engage in negotiations with the Taliban (The document also mentioned that the Chair of the Peace Council would report to the president.)
Based on Ghani's proposal, all national security ministries and institutions would report exclusively to the president.
President Ghani had proposed to Abdullah the role of "leader of the opposition," and that he would also become head of the proposed Supreme Peace Council.
Abdullah, according to people close to him, demanded that the government shouldn’t be formed based on the election results, adding that the election results should be nullified and then the power-sharing set up should be discussed in detail.
In the governance section, the proposal states that the president would serve as a "unitary executive with president as head of state," and that the president will have an advisory leadership group that he regularly consults.
Further, the president will immediately appoint an inclusive independent task force on electoral reform (a similar clause was mentioned in the National Unity Government agreement five years ago).
The two leaders met briefly late Sunday evening in the presence of Ambassador Khalilzad, and President Ghani told Abdullah that he won't accept any set up similar to the National Unity Government.
Abdullah has so far rejected the plan because Ghani does not agree with Abdullah's proposed executive role in the future government, according to sources.
Sources said also that Khalilzad's efforts to resolve these differences continues.
As the inauguration ceremonies are just a couple hours away, both the Presidential Palace and the Sapedar Palace are filled with supporters of the two leaders waiting for the inaugurations.