Afghanistan presidential election workers count and organize election ballots at a local school in the Nawa District © U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. William Greeson | Wikimedia Commons
EssaysLiberal Democracy in Question

The Old Patterns of the New Afghan Democracy

The Ghani-Abdullah Agreement and national and international stability in historical perspective

After a long electoral process, on September 27, 2014, Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as the Afghan president. The arrangements to grant him that office, which was earned in a controversial election, were not easy, because it forced a generous conciliation with Abdullah Abdullah, Ghani’s chief rival. Abdullah was granted the role of chief executive of the government, a sort of Afghan Prime Minister.

As Michael Keating points out, this is a blow to the trustworthiness of the electoral process, which serves precisely to avoid this sort of agreement among elites. …

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