Afghan president Hamid Karzai, has presented a new list of cabinet ministers to parliament (photo, from aljazeera.net). A week ago, legislators rejected two-thirds of the president’s nominees.
The list of 16 names was read to parliament on Saturday by the second vice-president, Karim Khalili.
The list contained none of the 17 candidates who were rejected last week and two positions were left unfilled.
“I request that all the lawmakers think about the national interest of the country, the current situation of the country and the desires of the Afghan people and make a good decision,” Khalili said as he read out the names.
Last Saturday, only seven of the 24 ministers originally nominated by president Karzai won approval in a secret parliament ballot.
The Afghan president then ordered the parliament to cancel its 45-days winter recess, so it could consider new nominations for cabinet posts.
Before separate votes are held for each candidate, all the nominees must present themselves to parliament and face questioning from legislators. That process took over a week for the first list presented by president Karzai (photo, from bbc.co.uk).
Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Kabul, said that some of the new nominees have been members in former governments.
“Karzai is heading calls to bring new faces into his government. He has been criticised for not including many women in his old list, now he has three [female nominees].”
The new list is “a mix of qualified and not very qualified people” said Dawood Sultanzoy, one of the parliamentarians who opposed the previous list.
“I think the result of the vote will also be a mix of some who will get the vote of confidence and some will not, that’s my prediction,” he told Reuters news agency.
While in the first list, Karzai did not put forward a foreign minister candidate, the renewed list includes Zelmai Rasoul, the current head of the foreign ministry, as candidate for the post as foreign minister.
However president Karzai has asked incumbent Rangin Dadfar Spanta to stay in the post until after the January 28 international conference in London, where the way forward for Afghanistan is to be discussed.