Afghanistan's Ghani Ousts Public Official, Fuels Political Tensions

 President Ashraf Ghani formally dismissed a deputy of Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah from office Thursday in a move that seems to have heightened political tensions at a critical time for the country.Ghani's office said Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq was dismissed based on an article of the constitution that gives the president authority to hire or fire government officials.However, Abdullah termed the removal "against the political agreement" that led to the formation of the National Unity Government in 2014."In this sensitive historic phase, any one-sided decision against the aspiration of the National Unity Government will weaken the spirit of the NUG, joint cooperation, and will provoke instability," the statement read.Afghanistan is preparing for a presidential election later this year, and a U.S. team's negotiations with the Afghan Taliban to find a road map to end the 18-year-long war seem to be getting serious.

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