Afghan Par­lia­ment re­jects most of Ghani's Cabi­net

Thurs­day, Jan­uary 29, 2015

The Financial Daily - - CONTINUATIONS -

BEI­JING: Li Yuan Chao Vice Pres­i­dent of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China, Sar­dar Ayaz Sadiq Speaker of the Na­tional Assem­bly, Wang Xiaochu Vice Chair­per­son of NPC For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee, Feng Zuo Ku Vice Pres­i­dent of CPAFFC, Li Jun As­sis­tant Min­is­ter CPC, Liu Jian­chao As­sis­tant For­eign Min­is­ter, Sha Zukang Pres­i­dent of China-Pak­istan Friend­ship As­so­ci­a­tion and Am­bas­sador Masood Khalid at the launch­ing cer­e­mony of China Pak­istan-Year of Friendly Ex­changes-2015. KABUL: Afghan law­mak­ers on Wed­nes­day re­jected most of Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani's nom­i­nees for the new cabi­net, in a fresh set­back for the newly formed "na­tional unity govern­ment".

The lower house of par­lia­ment voted on 18 of Ghani's 25 se­lec­tions for min­is­te­rial jobs and re­jected 10 of them in­clud­ing the pro­posed de­fence min­is­ter.

Those who won ap­proval in­cluded Salahud­din Rab­bani, the for­mer head of the Peace Coun­cil and nom­i­nee for for­eign af­fairs min­is­ter, and Noorul Haq Ulumi, the nom­i­nee for in­te­rior min­is­ter.

The pro­posed new cabi­net was un­veiled on Jan­uary 12, af­ter three months of wran­gling fol­low­ing last year's bit­terly dis­puted pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

It was meant to cre­ate a "unity govern­ment" agreed in a power-shar­ing deal be­tween Ghani and his pres­i­den­tial poll ri­val Ab­dul­lah Ab­dul­lah.

That deal, ham­mered out af­ter tor­tu­ous ne­go­ti­a­tions, was seen as sav­ing Afghanistan from the risk of civil war, af­ter both men claimed vic­tory in last year's fraud-tainted elec­tion.

But last week par­lia­ment told Ghani that seven of his nom­i­nees were in­el­i­gi­ble be­cause they held dual na­tion­al­i­ties.

Rab­bani and Ulumi re­nounced their for­eign cit­i­zen­ships to qual­ify, and MPs also ap­proved Rah­mat­ul­lah Na­bil as the direc­tor of the NDS in­telli- gence agency.

Those re­jected in­cluded Sher Mo­ham­mad Karim, the cur­rent army chief of staff and nom­i­nee for de­fence min­is­ter, and Khat­era Afghan, Ghani's choice for min­is­ter of higher ed­u­ca­tion.

Afghan was the only woman up for ap­proval on Wed­nes­day af­ter two other fe­male nom­i­nees were ex­cluded from the vote, one be­cause of dual na­tion­al­ity and one for hav­ing "in­suf­fi­cient ed­u­ca­tional doc­u­ments".

Ghani thanked MPs for ap­prov­ing the eight min­is­ters and the NDS chief.

"The pres­i­dent wishes the new min­sters suc­cess in serv­ing the peo­ple, say­ing he will soon

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