Presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Abdullah Abdullah have agreed to the final terms of their national unity deal and are expected to sign it into the records sometime Saturday, sources close to the negotiations have said.
The two candidates have been deadlocked in talks over the details of a power sharing framework they agreed to in early August after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Kabul to mediate between them.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources told TOLOnews the candidates had reached a compromise on even the most contentious issues between them. Not in the least of those was the issue of the dynamic between the President and the new Chief Executive position.
According to TOLOnews' sources, the Chief Executive will be empowered on the day of the presidential inauguration. He will chair the Council of Ministers while the President chairs the Cabinet. Two deputies of the Chief Executive will then serve on the Cabinet and the National Security Council.
Within two years, the agreement mandates that a Loya Jirga be held for changes to be brought to the Constitution, including the creation of an Executive Prime Minister's office to replace the Chief Executive.
When it comes to appointments, the candidates have agreed to split it down the middle on security, economic, national security and independent directorate leadership. The president and CEO will put a merit based mechanism to place for senior level appointments as well as provincial and judicial posts. The Chief Executive is expected to make nominations and have a say in all confirmations.
Finally, reform of the electoral system was a condition of the candidates deal to ensure that future elections are fully credible. They have reportedly committed to setting up a commission to overhaul the system before the 2015 parliamentary elections.
The only subject the candidates were said to have not come to a full conclusion on was the announcement of the results of the election. Abdullah emphasized that the terms "winner", "loser" and "result" should not be used to announce the conclusion, instead the term "election outcome" is acceptable without disclosing actual figures. But according to sources, the lead negotiators met late Friday night to hammer out an agreement.
Assuming the candidates are able figure out how to release the results, the stalemate that has gripped the nation and stalled its economy should soon be over.