Kabul: US envoy meets Afghanistan’s Ghani ahead of Eid ceasefire | AFP

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad holds talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani after arriving in Kabul as part of a regional tour to push the peace process with the Taliban. On July 28, the Taliban insurgents and the Afghan government agreed on a temporary ceasefire, the third in nearly 19 years, over the Eid al-Adha Muslim festival. of Zalmay Khalilzad, Ashraf Ghani and other officials

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Afghan President Ghani and rival Abdullah sign power-sharing deal | AFP

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah sign a power-sharing deal, ending a bitter months-long feud that plunged the country into political crisis. The breakthrough, which sees Abdullah heading peace talks with the Taliban, comes as Afghanistan battles a series of crises, including a rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus and surging militant violence that saw dozens killed in brutal attacks last week. IMAGES of Afghan President Ghani and rival Abdullah signing a power-sharing deal

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People rushed to hospital after deadly Afghan suicide attack

A suicide bomb attack in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan where President Ashraf Ghani was visiting kills at least 19 people, including the only Sikh candidate in upcoming legislative elections. The attacker struck a market located hundreds of metres from the provincial governor’s compound where Ghani was holding meetings.

Accusations of Fraud on Election Day: Elections in Afghanistan (Dispatch 2)

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The final round of Afghanistan’s presidential elections took place with a relatively low death toll — a quiet kind of victory for nation’s fledgling democracy. Inside Kabul, the Taliban fired a few rockets harmlessly towards the northern suburbs after daybreak, as if for form’s sake. But the election went ahead anyway, with small trickles of voters filing into polling centers across the capital throughout the day.

Lines were almost non-existent, an outcome political activists ascribed variously to the fierce heat, lack of ballot papers, increased efficiency on behalf of the electoral commission and voter apathy. Polls since the first round of voting showed Dr. Abdullah Abdullah taking a solid lead over his opponent, former World Bank economist Dr. Ashraf Ghani. But at each of the three polling centers VICE News visited, almost every voter interviewed claimed to have cast their vote for Ghani, implying the final result may be closer than anyone expected.

Electoral monitors for both candidates traded accusations of attempted fraud, with Abdullah taking the lion’s share of the blame. At the polling center in Kabul’s upper-middle class District 10, VICE News witnessed a secret policeman escorted away by stern-faced soldiers after being caught attempting to vote for Abdullah twice.

In a month’s time, the ballot papers from Afghanistan’s provinces will have been counted at least, those from where voting was possible and Afghanistan will have a new president. Depending on the closeness of the results, the transition to a new administration may take place smoothly, or may be marred by accusations of electoral fraud and voter intimidation.

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