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Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah hold parallel presidential inaugurations

Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah hold parallel presidential inaugurations

In an unprecedented development, Afghanistan's two rival leaders - Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah - held parallel presidential inaugurations on Monday.

This comes on the back of the contested election results with both leaders claiming victory in the election held last year.

In the elections held in September last year, incumbent President Ashraf Ghani was announced to have won a second term in the results declared in February. The results sparked accusations of voter fraud from former chief executive Abdullah Abdullah.

While Ghani's swearing-in ceremony was held at the Presidential Palace, Dr Abdullah's oath-taking took place at Sapedar Palace which is the office of chief executive.

The crisis in fragile Afghan democracy comes in the face of unified and resurgent Taliban which has gained ground in recent years and forced the United States to sign a peace deal.

US President Donald Trump's special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad also attended the ceremony at the Presidential Palace. Top diplomats from other countries also attended the event.

Meanwhile, firing of rockets was reported in the midst of Ghani's swearing-in ceremony.

(Inputs and image from dnaindia.com)

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