Ashraf Ghani sworn in as Afghan president; rival holds parallel inauguration ceremony

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks during his inauguration as president in Kabul on March 9, 2020.
Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks during his inauguration as president in Kabul on March 9, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

KABUL (REUTERS) - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was sworn in for a second term on Monday (March 9) but his main rival for the top job refused to recognise the inauguration, holding his own swearing-in ceremony as a rival president.

Television footage showed Mr Ghani taking an oath at the Presidential palace in Kabul at a ceremony attended by a number of foreign diplomats, including US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.

Presidential candidate and rival in a disputed election Abdullah Abdullah held his own ceremony at a similar time, suggesting that talks between the two camps and Mr Khalilzad aimed at brokering an agreement had not been successful.