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A supporter of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani holds a poster as he celebrates in the street after the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced preliminary results in Kabul July 7, 2014.
A supporter of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani holds a poster as he celebrates in the street after the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced preliminary results in Kabul July 7, 2014.
(OMAR SOBHANI/REUTERS)

OMAR SAMAD

What is needed for a smooth political transition in Afghanistan

Last minute high-wire political mediation by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry averted an electoral meltdown that had the potential to jeopardize Afghanistan’s fragile political transition, as both contenders, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, disagreed on the outcome of the June 14 presidential runoff. U.S.-led negotiations, also involving the United Nations, not only opened the way for a complete audit of all Afghan votes, but also facilitated a tacit agreement on both sides to open political dialogue aimed at forming a government of national unity.