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Afghanistan swears in two presidents

Christian Fernsby |
Afghanistan’s president elect Ashraf Ghani and his election rival, runner up Abdullah Abdullah, took part in parallel swearing in ceremonies today.

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Both ceremonies were initially delayed, apparently to allow for hectic U.S. diplomacy to resolve the crisis. However, after several hours the inaugurations began.

Ghani was the first to take the oath, in a ceremony shown live, where among other foreign guests were U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and U.S. commander of international forces Scott Miller.

Abdullah also was sworn in in a ceremony in his office, with both cermonies broadcast live by all afghan televeisoin stations, some showing the two on split screens.

The Afghan election commission late last month declared incumbent Ghani the winner of the bitterly contested September 28 presidential election.

But Abdullah, the incumbent chief executive, rejected the outcome as fraudulent, claiming that he and his team had won the vote and threatened to form his own government.

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