Zalmay Khalilzad, who is the US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, said on Twitter that the Afghan foreign ministry had announced the postponement of Thursday’s planned presidential inauguration ceremony.
“I welcome President Ghani’s decision to postpone the event until March 9,” Khalilzad said. “This will allow time for necessary consultations so that the best interests of Afghanistan and its people are reflected and preserved by the new government.”
Khalilzad said that as “the electoral process has concluded, President Ghani, as the declared winner, and other leaders should ensure that the new government is inclusive and reflects the aspirations of all Afghans.”
Ghani’s office in a statement confirmed that the swearing-in ceremony had been postponed until March 9.
The statement cited”rumors of spread of coronavirus, narrow time frame for attending of high-level foreign guests and the need for more technical preparations” as reasons for postponing second-term inauguration.