KABUL — Leaders of Afghanistan’s three major ethnic minority political parties, all of whom hold senior positions in the government, announced from Turkey Saturday that they have formed a coalition to save Afghanistan from chaos, issued a list of demands for reforms by President Ashraf Ghani, and vowed to hold mass protests unless they are met.
The stunning development followed weeks of gathering political turmoil and public unrest after a devastating terrorist bombing in the capital on May 31. It brought together a group of powerful ex-militia leaders, once rivals in a civil war, in an extraordinary alliance that could present Ghani and his shaky government with its most serious challenge since taking office in 2014.
The group’s statement was issued from Ankara, where Abdurrashid Dostom, an ethnic Uzbek strongman who is still technically first vice president in the Ghani government, moved recently on grounds of ill health despite being under investigation in Kabul for sexual assault against an elderly political rival. Dostom’s aides circulated the statement on social media.