Power-sharing pact draws mixed reaction
KABUL (Pajhwok): The much-awaited unity government deal on Sunday drew mixed reaction from residents of various provinces, with some opposing the move and others pinning hopes on it.
The deal, signed between the two presidential candidates in presence of President Hamid Karzai earlier in the day, put to an end the long-drawn-out electoral process and marked the first-ever peaceful transfer of power between elected governments.
Residents of the southern city of Kandahar expressed different views regarding the power-sharing deal between Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah Abdullah.
A resident of Kabul Shah area, Ghausuddin, said the deal shattered people’s hopes after twice risking their lives to elect their future president.
After the second round of the presidential elections went disputed, people waited for months to see a legitimate president being appointed at the end of the vote audit, he said.
He said the power-sharing deal had no room in the Constitution and it not only rendered people’s votes valueless but also destroyed their trust in democracy.
Hina, a resident of the Herat Gate, said every Afghan regretted participating in the presidential elections because the current situation was against people’s wishes.
She said people had voted for a government that consisted of clean and eligible individuals who could bring peace and stability, implement reforms and work for strengthening democracy. “A unity government can never come up with people’s expectations,” she believed.
A Mirwais Mina resident Noor Ahmad, a taxi driver, said he was happy with the deal because it would end the political crisis that had been gripping the nation.
“We have been living a miserable life for the last six months, when all business had come to a standstill and economic situation deteriorated with each passing day.”
He urged the two candidates to form a government which could bring about positive changes in people’s lives after a long wait.
A resident of the Dand district, Ahmad Nabi, said in keeping in view the prolonged electoral process and subsequent chaos, there was no option except the formation of a unity government.
He said when people went to the polls, they had no idea of such a situation at the time.
“I personally consider the deal against people’s votes and democracy, but when I look at the country’s problems, I think it is better to have a deal instead of plunging into political chaos.”
Mohammad Ali, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, said the deal was good if it had rescued the importance of elections. “Now what’s the value of the final election results, why did people go to the polls twice and live under fears for six months,” asked the resident.
A political science student at Balkh University, Arif, believed the gravity of the situation compelled the two candidates to reach a unity government deal.
He said although such coalition governments in the past had failed to deliver, the two candidates could open a new chapter in the history using their political maturity.
He said there was no doubt in the fact that the two candidates had lost people’s trust in them.
A civil society activist Wahid told Pajhwok Afghan News people feared the coalition government would be weaker than the incumbent government that ruled for a decade.
He said it was a known fact that coalition governments had never been free of problems.
A resident of eastern Nangarhar province, Abdul Jabbar, said the two candidates had committed a sheer betrayal of the nation.
He said if the two candidates had to form a unity government, the second round of presidential elections should not have been held.
“They played with the fate of Afghanistan people and landed the country into a deep political crisis,” he said.
Jabbar said he had no expectations from the incoming government and was concerned about the country’s future.
Writer and journalist Sahar Gul Amirzai held similar views and said he was deeply concerned about the latest decision by the two candidates, who played with people’s votes to reach power.
He recalled a number of people lost their lives and many got their fingers chopped off during the elections, but at the end, the two candidates formed the government of their choice.
A resident of neighbouring Laghman province, Samiullah, said Afghanistan did not suffer such a worst blow during the past few decades as it did over the past few months.
“The government has been shared. People had died for it, but the game is not over, you will see how much chaos erupts on the soil in the future,” he predicted.
He said if the two candidates had to reach such a deal, they should have done it in the initial days.
In eastern Nuristan province, former provincial council member Amanullah Inayat Rahman said the two candidates cut deal on people’s votes and the coalition government would bring along a great loss.
“There will be war again. Ghani will say one thing and Abdullah something else. The same situation will prevail as we see today and the poor masses will bear the brunt,” he said.
A resident of southeastern Paktia province, Syed Jamaluddin, said it would have been better if one of the two campaigns had formed its government.
But keeping in view the country’s situation, it was also good to see one elected government replacing another in a peaceful manner, he added.
He said the Afghans should respect every decision made by their leaders.
A Paktia University student, Shakoor Kamran, said he was happy with the formation of a unity government, but doubted its sustainability.
He said eligible people should be appointed in the new government, which should represent all groups and tribe.
A resident of the provincial capital, Gardez, Faridullah Ahmadzai, said the unity government decision was good because it would allow development activities to resume. “People were concerned about their future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kabul residents said they were optimistic the unity government agreement would steer the nation out of the misfortunes.
An NGO employee, Amna, said the agreement would do away with concerns found in the masses.
A high school teacher, Ihsanullah Fayaz, said instead of heading to a chaos, forming a unity government was fortunate.
He urged the new president and the chief executive officer to exercise utmost care in appointing ministers, their deputies and other high-ranking officials and assign key responsibilities to competent individuals.
In western Herat province, a resident of the provincial capital, Mohammad Hassan, said people finally got a sigh of relief after suffering for six months.
Another resident of Herat City, Safiullah, hoped the two candidates would go by their promises and would not develop differences again.
In central Logar province, a resident of the provincial capital, Pul-i-Alam, Juma Gul said: “If I knew my vote has no value and the elections will turn disputed, I would never have cast my vote.”
He said over the past 13 years, it had been compromises-based government that failed to achieve peace and eliminate corruption.
A civil society activist in central Ghor province, Khuda Yar Waqif, said the unity government deal was an effective step towards ending the electoral crisis and people’s concerns.
But he criticised the two candidates for keeping the country in crisis for six months and earning the elections a bad name, something he said should not have happened.
“Now as the two candidates have signed the deal, they should revive people’s trust in future elections and should appoint experienced and eligible people as ministers.”
A government official in Faryab, Syed Ahmad Shah, said it was for the first time in Afghanistan’s history that one elected government transferred power to another in a peaceful way.
However, he said if the new president had come to power on the basis of people’s votes, he would have performed well and efficiently.
“The candidates once pushed the country toward crisis and shook the entire system. Now I hope for the unity government to produce positive results,” he said.
A resident of central Bamyan province and civil society activist, Hussain Dad Ahmadi, said today’s agreement buried democracy in Afghanistan.
He said the deal proved that politicians had no respect for the national interest and democracy and they held supreme their own interests.
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