Both Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani are patriotic, liberal minded and have agreed to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States within the first week in office. But if you want the right Presidential candidate to win, vote for Dr. Ghani for President of Afghanistan in the runoff election on June 14th.
Dr. Ghani is not just a former academic, an entrepreneurial technocrat and a leading global thinker. Dr. Ghani has created a track record of success and has the capacity to build our broken country. He has published numerous articles about international development, written a book about how to fix failed states, reduced corruption as Minister of Finance and created reforms that have fostered inclusion and transformational change when he was a World Bank economist. In the past decade, Dr. Ghani has inspired and nurtured the new generation to reach their capacity and contribute to the good of the nation. He also has a strategic plan to create one million jobs for Afghan youth within five years.
In the televised debates, it was evident that Dr. Ghani was the only candidate with a clear vision to get Afghanistan off of its destructive course. If Dr. Abdullah is elected, Afghanistan will probably continue the war narrative and ethnic jockeying. Mark my words: If Abdullah is elected there will be continued culture of corruption, unmitigated unemployment, sectarian violence and an escalated war with the Taliban. Besides, what has Dr. Abdullah accomplished in the last 12 years that has contributed towards peace building? Nothing.
Abdullah has just milked donor aid while Ghani has worked hard to recover Afghanistan. The fact that more Afghans voted for Abdullah than Ghani just shows that Afghans still live with a war mentality. When I ask Abdullah voters, why you voted for him, the answers are incredibly superficial. Things like, Abdullah looks better or dresses chic. When I asked Abdullah voters to name me one qualification Abdullah has that Ghani doesn’t, his followers fall dead silent. This kind of ignorance and illiteracy is the reason why Afghanistan remains one of the most backward nations on Earth.
When I vote for a leader, I look for substance and someone who will serve the national interest. That is why nine months ago, I endorsed Dr. Ghani and today I firmly support him more than ever. However, I fully respect the democratic process and all Afghans must rally around the victor regardless of who wins.