South Asia

Ashraf Ghani sworn in as Afghanistan President

Afghanistan's new President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (L) stands next to Afghanistan's Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi as he takes the oath during his inauguration as president in Kabul.   | Photo Credit: OMAR SOBHANI

Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has been sworn in as Afghanistan’s new President, replacing Hamid Karzai in the country’s first democratic transfer of power since the 2001 U.S-led invasion toppled the Taliban.

He became President of Afghanistan in a peaceful transition Monday after a six-month election season that ended with marathon negotiations that gave the newly created position of chief executive to his challenger Abdullah Abdullah.

Mr. Karzai had been Afghanistan’s only leader since 2001.

“I swear in the name of God the almighty to obey and support Islam, and the constitution,” Mr. Ghani said in the official oath. “I will protect the national sovereignty.”

Two vice presidents were also sworn in.

Nearly 1,400 national and international dignitaries, including more than 200 delegates from the US, China, Pakistan, India and other countries, participated in the ceremony, Xinhua reported.

Security personnel were deployed along the roads leading to Kabul to check all cars and vehicles entering the city.

Afghanistan has now experienced its first-ever peaceful power transition in its history as outgoing President Hamid Karzai transfers power to the new President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

AP reports:

Violence ahead of inauguration

Security officials in Afghanistan say militants have carried out two attacks just ahead of the presidential inauguration.

In the eastern province of Paktia, Capt. Mohammed Hekhlas said that a car bomb exploded on Monday near a government compound as gunmen attacked, sparking a gun battle that killed seven Taliban militants. Another police official, who gave his name as Azimullah, said four police and two civilians also were killed.

In Kabul, where the city is readying for the presidential inauguration, a roadside bomb exploded on the airport road. Officials said no one was hurt or killed.

The road links the airport with the presidential palace, where Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai will be sworn in as president later Monday, capping an election marred by fraud allegations and resolved by a unity government pledge.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 6:47:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/ashraf-ghani-to-be-sworn-in-as-new-afghan-president/article6456544.ece

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