Amidst allegations of vote fraud, former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai won Afghanistan’s presidential election. The accusations of fraud are already a dark cloud over the new government, and in such important times for Afghanistan, a clean win would have been a victory for the war torn state. Violations of the voting process have not been denied by the independent election commission and the EU’s chief election observer has also voiced concerns. Former President Karzai continually had similar corruption allegations against him. Some things never change.

The opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah has been crying foul since the election of his prominent supporters, northern Balkh province’s Governor Atta Mohammad Noor has called for widespread civil unrest and the formation of a parallel government. This will do nothing for the new democracy. The thing that all politicians and populace in nascent democracies forget is that corruption is an ill that will be embedded in the political system for decades until economic prosperity and institutional power of the executive solidifies. This was bound to happen. But bringing the politics of the country to chaos, at a time when the Taliban have strengthened with a major offensive in the southern province of Helmand, will be sheer pettiness on the part of the losing party.

Ghani’s support is mostly Pashtun and they are a force to reckon with. Just on ethnic lines, which are extremely important in Afghanistan, Ghani was bound to win. Abdullah’s supporters are Tajiks and other northern Afghan groups. This cleavage is the same as that in the bloody 1992-1996 Afghan Civil War. It is said that Abdullah may have lost because of being a Tajik, and there are rumors that Pashtuns might have rigged the polls themselves. For Abdullah to accept the result would require some sort of power sharing deal and a prominent role in the administration. This would help aid stability. But it is likely that Abdullah would choose to pull an Imran Khan and be more interested in protesting a disputed outcome than in trying to work out a deal.

Any power struggle would also undermine the US claim that the US led military and civil mission has not created a functioning government. US Secretary of State John Kerry is to visit Afghanistan on the 11th of July, but has issued a statement that the Afghan leaders should keep calm, and carry on, without extra-legal means. Urgent issues await the new President, including signing the pending Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States and the withdrawing of US troops. Delays in the power process create difficulty for all parties involved, except the Taliban.