By: The Kabul Times
“I am not wearing an armored vest. We have seen big attacks. A couple explosions shouldn’t scare us,” the president said, opening his jacket, when the ceremony was briefly interrupted by rocket attacks.
KABUL: Mohammad Ashraf Ghani sworn in as the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for the second term during a glorious ceremony held at the presidential palace yesterday.
Several Kabul-based diplomats, including the US peace envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, US ambassador to Kabul, Resolute Support Commander Scott Miller, parliament members, government officials, jihadi leaders, ministers, some presidential candidates, military commanders and foreign guests were present at the ceremony.
The country’s Chief Justice Prof. Sayed Yousuf Halimi led the oath ceremony for President-elect. Later the first Vice President Amrullah Saleh and second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danesh took oath in presence of President Ghani.
Subsequently, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani signed the first decree appointing Mohammad Yousuf Ghazanfar, the President’s extraordinary representative on economic, business, and poverty reduction, where he also took oath in presence of the President.
After taking oath, President-elect Mohammad Ashraf Ghani delivered his remarks and said: “Today is the day to support the birth of a constitutionally elected government. Our government will be for all Afghanistan. The government team was a driving force to mobilize people, but the government I am about to form soon will not be a state-building monopoly.”
The president called upon Afghan people that the government was belonging to them and that they should join hand for development of the country. “The day of separation has been passed. Today is the day of unity, and a day for us to think about the future and comfort of our nation.”
The president went on saying that people from across the country was involved in his electoral team, saying that he was looking forward to visit each and every part of the country and listen to the people’s problems.
“What mobilizes the nation is unity. Today, we must mobilize our abilities to make people enjoy peace,” the president added, saying that he would implement all the promises made during the electoral campaigns.
President Ghani’s speech was briefly interrupted, with some in the audience running for cover, as a barrage of rockets landed in the capital near the site of the ceremony. But the president refused to leave the stage and urged calm.
“I am not wearing an armored vest,” the president said, opening his jacket. “We have seen big attacks. A couple explosions shouldn’t scare us.”
The president continued his speech, saying that would issue an order on Tuesday about release of Taliban prisoners. The president expected that the Taliban will significantly reduce violence in turn for the release of their prisoners. He said that the government’s negotiating team will be finalized on Tuesday too.
While President Ghani was being sworn in for a second term, his election rival, Abdullah Abdullah also declared himself as president in a simultaneous inauguration ceremony. President Ghani was declared the winner of last September’s election by the Independent Election Commission last month, but his rival had refuted the results.