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Appointment of president’s new aide draws warnings

AT News

KABUL: A handful of lawmakers are fuming over appointment of Elham Omar Hotaki as the incumbent president’s new aide, accusing Ashraf Ghani of harboring corruption.

Hotaki has been appointed as acting head of the Administrative Office of the president. Hotaki is also the secretary of the National Procurement Authority and will also keep his current position.

A president’s decree rules that he will take a new duty as head of the president’s administrative office until a new one is appointed. “The decision came after a reshuffle after the office’s previous head was appointed as deputy secretary of the Security Council,” a president’s spokesperson, Lateef Mahmoud, said.

The decision has come under fire as some prominent members of the Parliament are arguing Hotaki is convicted on corruption charges. He has been summoned to face the music of answering the accusations. Members of parliament believe that Ghani is unequivocally harboring corruption.

Lawmakers are leveling serious allegations of embezzlement against Ghani’s new aide too. Based on accusations, Hotaki has systematically embezzled from budget from huge procurement contracts including five oil purchase contract for five army corps, another one for procurement of rice and medicine, aside from serious issues in procurement activities of several other agencies.

Hotaki is also facing accusation of negligence in giving projects to the president’s operation office irrespective of considering technical capacity and standards.

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