“No ballot box for cabinet picks with dual nationality”
By Akhtar M. Nikzad
KABUL: President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani introduced 26 nominees to Wolesi Jirga to fill 24 ministerial posts and one each for the top slot of National Directorate of Security and De Afghanistan Bank.
In his speech to the Wolesi Jirga on Tuesday, the president said the nominated cabinet members have been selected while following the policy of merit. He said that those were nominated who possess good experience, knowledge and are patriots.
Regarding delay in formation of the cabinet he said that it took long time to search for those who are meeting the criteria to carry out the assigned tasks efficiently. The nominees are committed to bring administrative reforms and to fight corruption in their ministries, Ghani claimed.
The president said the MPs got the right to reject or accept the introduced nominated ministers. However, he hoped that they would keep national interests in view while giving vote of confidence. Ghani said the ministers who could not perform well would offer resignation.
Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (WJ), Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, on the occasion made it clear that the legislators would use their vote independently.
He said that according to Article 91 of the constitution, giving vote of confidence and or rejecting the nominees is the authority of the WJ. He added the MPs would approve those who meet the criteria set by the constitution.
A month ago, MPs approved a law barring nominees with dual nationality from making way to the cabinet. The lawmakers warned the government in advance to exclude names of those cabinet picks who acquired dual nationality.
Secretary of the WJ, Erfanullah Erfan, told Afghanistan Times that going through the credentials of the nominees they have found 18 ministers nominated have dual citizenship.
He reiterated that MPs would not give vote of confidence to those picks have dual nationality. He made it clear that there would be no ballot box for the nominated ministers with dual nationality.
According to the list available with Afghanistan Times, General Sher Mohammad Karimi was nominated as Minister of Defense, Noorullaq Olomi as Interior Minister, Salahuddin Rabbani as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eklil Hakimi as Minister of Finance, Sayed Saadat Mansoor Naderi as Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, Sayed Hussain Alimi Bakhi as Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, Mohammad Ghul Zulmai Yunesi as Minister of Education, Firozuddin Firoz as Ministry of Public Health, Sardar Mohammad Rahimi as Ministry of Commerce and Industrials, Shah Zaman Maiwandi as Ministry of Urban Development Affairs, Sardar Mohammad Rahman Ughli as Minister of Economy, Ahmad Siyar as Minister of Justice, Barna Karimi as Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Nasir Ahmad Durani as Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Kamalluddin Shinwari as Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs, Najiba Aubi as Minister of Women Affairs, Ghulam Abas Basir as Minister of Public Works, Faizullah Zaki as Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Dawood Sabah as Minister Mines and Petroleum, Ai Sultan Khairi as Minister of Information and Culture, Faizullah Kakar as Minister of Counter Narcotics, Faizullah Usmani as Minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs, Khatera Afghan as Minister of Higher Education, Abdul Rahman Salahi as Minister of Energy and Water, Rahmatullah Nabil as Chief of the National Directorate of Security, and Khalilullah Sediq as Governor of the De Afghanistan Bank.