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An era of defiance unfolds: Ousted governor challenges government writ

AT-KABUL: A spate of defiance against the government’s rulings has arisen ever since the ousted governor of northern Balkh province Ata Muhammad Noor defied his removal and ramped up a hostile language against Ghani’s government. In the wake of Noor’s resistance, the sacked governor of the northern Samangan province – Abdul Karim Khedam – has also rejected a government decision to unseat him, defying any change in the political leadership of the province.

He appeared in a press conference on Monday and rejected his dismissal as illegal, questioning whether President Ashraf Ghani had the power to do so unilaterally. He insisted that he will continue to act as a provincial governor along with his deputy until the Jamiat-e-Islami party and the ethnic Turkmen come up with a final decision concerning his status.

Abdul Latif Ibrahimi has been appointed as the new governor of Samangan province to replace Abdul Karim Khedam.

On Saturday, the Independent Directorate of the Local Governance (IDLG) said the government has appointed new governors for five different provinces of the country. According to a statement by IDLG, the new governors have been appointed based on a recommendation of the IDLG and ratification of the president himself. A number of provincial governors have already been reshuffled.

In December 2017, the governor of northern Balkh province Ata Muhammad Noor rejected President Ashraf Ghani’s acceptance of his resignation and denied to step down. Noor refused to accept the decision and said he submitted his resignation last year based on some conditions. Noor had presented a resignation note to the president setting certain conditions.

Noor also argues that he has to nominate his successor and appoint certain provincial officials in Balkh. He insists he would not quit until his Jamiat-i-Islami party and its allies negotiate a resolution with the Ghani camp in the coalition government.

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