After waiting for several months, the new national unity government has been formed in Afghanistan. The opposing contenders in June’s election have signed an agreement to form a coalition government. This is a very important development regarding peace and stability in the country because the supporters of Abdullah Abdullah were not happy with the election results, and there was a threat of violence perpetrated by his supporters if a new government was formed without him. However, that threat has now been neutralized to some extent.
Critics still believe that ideological differences between the two leaders offer little chance that they can come together to reach consensus, and many pessimistically predict that the new government will soon come to an end. But Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah have experience working together in the Karzai administration. Therefore, it is hoped that both leaders can embrace the spirit of cooperation, since a confrontational attitude or a power struggle may end in a lose-lose situation for both of them.
This power-sharing agreement is nonetheless a positive step, and one should be hopeful that the coalition can contribute to Afghanistan’s development and play a role in bridging the gap between former Northern Alliance supporters and the country’s Pashtuns. Through common efforts, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani can minimize the threat that the militant Taliban poses to the country.
Foreign troops will leave Afghanistan this year. If they had left the country without a settled political situation (similar to the abandonment of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union in 1989), there was a chance for even greater chaos and instability in the country. But the United States’ efforts to bring the two leaders together to create a coalition government have really paid off.