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Editorial: Avoid paving way for nepotism!

The power-sharing deal between President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman Abdullah Abdullah was signed in May and based on that it was agreed that the cabinet posts would be distributed 50-50 among the political rivals who were engaged in bitter mutual recriminations following the last year’s presidential election. Currently, President Ghani is said to have introduced his picks but Chairman Abdullah is yet to do that. This is while the delay in introducing ministers-designate disrupts the smooth progression of civil services and governance. Meanwhile, a number of Wolesi Jirga members have also called for the introduction of ministers to the lower house for a trust vote. The lower house accused some acting ministers of firing and replacing employees with their kin. We have recently witnessed the authoritative dismissal spree of Da Afghanistan Bank’s acting governor, who needs to attain a vote of confidence from the parliament. The fact that the political agreement is reached two months ago and ministers-designate aren’t introduced undermines the performance of the joint government yet again. This comes as acting officials have started dismissing employees and replacing them with their relatives – an opportunity that gives them a free hand to do whatever they want. The delay caused is directed towards the High National Reconciliation Council (HNRC) Chairman Abdullah because it is said that he hasn’t yet provided his list of nominees to the president. Also, it is possible that he may have provided the list but the president doesn’t accept it – something that would be the exact repeat of their past term’s squabbles if true. Moreover, the government makes pledges to introduce the nominees but it doesn’t walk the talk. Therefore, the government is well-advised to complete its cabinet at the earliest possible and avoid paving way for nepotism. There is no room for leaving the actions of the acting officials unchecked and for failing to require accountability from them. The parliament should be facilitated to carry out its duty of holding the moves of the government in check. The delay in introducing the ministers-designate to the parliament means the government is deliberately allowing preferential treatment in ministries and other government organizations go unnoticed and possibly lead to corruption. It is recommended that the government take heed of this grave issue – which, if ignored for a while, would badly affect the government machinery and lead to further troubles.

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