Afghanistan's parliament rejects Karzai's cabinet nominations

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Image: US Federal Government.

The Afghan parliament has rejected president Hamid Karzai's nominees for his new cabinet. Karzai had nominated 24 persons to fill vacancies, although only seven were approved. Of the nominees rejected include incumbent Energy Minister Ismail Kha, and the incumbent minister of Women's Affairs. It did however approve the nominees for the positions of Defense, Interior, and Finance ministers.

President Karzai will need to resubmit candidates for the vacant positions so that the government can begin its 2010 workload.

During the confirmation hearings Karzai was in the Helmand province, meeting with US commander General Stanley McChrystal. Karzai told local residents that if they want to be protected, they have to bring their sons to the national army.

“The significance of the rejection has to do with politics and Karzai’s failure to build a cabinet that spoke to a wide enough spectrum of people, and also with the weakening of his political machine,” Alex Thier, the director of the Pakistan-Afghanistan program at the United States Institute of Peace, told The New York Times.

The American embassy released a statement saying that it supports the parliaments decision approve and disapprove the nominaees.

Also announced Saturday, Afghan parliamentary elections will take place May 22, despite corruption allegations from last Augusts presidential elections.