Wed, Sep

Cabinet picks introduced to Wolesi Jirga for trust vote


new-cabinet-introducedAfter a lot of dithering, the national unity government finally introduced 25 ministers-designate and heads of two independent entities to the Wolesi Jirga for a vote of confidence.

Before introducing his cabinet picks to the lower house, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani highlighted Afghanistan’s problems and his administration’s future strategy during a long speech to a gathering at his office.

He said the new cabinet members would remain accountable to public representatives, who were authorised to endorse or reject his nominations. He hoped the legislators would exercise their right in supreme national interest.

After the presidential address, minister-designate of parliamentary affairs Ghulam Nabi Farahi read out the biographies of the nominees, including the Afghan spymaster and central bank governor.

The decision comes after two nominees declined cabinet posts, citing different reasons. Mohammad Yaqub Haidari, agriculture minister-designate, is on the most wanted list of Interpol for tax evasion in Estonia.

Ambassador to the US Eklil Ahmad Hakimi has been named finance minister-designate and Asila Wardak higher education minister-designate.

Energy and water minister-designate Mahmood Saiqal has been replaced with Abdur Rahman Salehi. No candidate for the agriculture portfolio has been named so far.

On Monday, Members of three commissions and the administrative board of the Wolesi Jirga, sticking to their stance, decided not to grant a trust vote to cabinet nominees with dual nationality.

The decision was announced after a joint meeting of the three parliamentary panels and members of the administrative board. They agreed not to place ballot boxes for nominees with dual nationality.

It is not yet known when the parliamentarians will start the vote of confidence proceedings. Names of the ministers-designate are:

• Zalmai Younusi, minister of education;
• Salahuddin Rabbani, minister of foreign affairs;
• Barna Karimi, minister of information technology;
• Sardar Mohammad Rahimi, minister of trade and commerce;
• Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz, minister of public health;
• Najiba Ayubi, minister of women’s affairs;
• Abdur Rahman Salehi, minister of energy and water;
• Sardar Mohammad Rahman Oghli, minister of economy;
• Eng. Naseer Ahmad Durrani, minister of rural rehabilitation;
• Noor-ul-Haq Ulumi, minister of interior;
• Ahmad Sayar Mahjoor, minister of justice;
• Sher Mohammad Karimi, minister of defence;
• Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, minister of finance;
• Amaruddin Shinwari, minister of border and tribal affairs;
• Faizullah Zaki, minister of transport;
• Sadat Naderi, minister of labour and social affairs;
• Nabi Farahi, minister of parliamentary affairs;
• Khatira Afghan, minister of higher education;
• Dr. Abbas Basir, minister of public works;
• Daud Saba, minister of mines;
• Syed Alami Balkhi, minister of refugees;
• Faiz Mohammad Osmani, minister of hajj;
• Faizullah Kakar, minister of counternarcotics;
• Al Sultan Khairi, minister of information;
• Khalili Siddique, central bank governor;
• Shah Zaman Maiwandi, minister of urban development;

 and • Rahmatullah Nabil, the NDS director.