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Nine cabinet-picks with dual nationality on axe of MPs

“MPs say they cannot tolerate any pressure from the government in vote of confidence for the cabinet nominees. We will approve only those nominees who qualify for ministries under the Constitution of the country”
Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi
KABUL: Members of the Wolesi Jirga warned the government to restrain from pressurizing the legislators to get vote of confidence for the cabinet nominees.
They said that those cabinet picks who meet the criteria set by the Constitution would be approved by the Wolesi Jirga (WJ) or Lower House of the parliament.
Regarding the criteria, the MPs said that those who have single nationality and high qualification should not worry as they would get vote of confidence.
Secretary of the WJ, Urfanullah Urfan, told newsmen that session to introduce the cabinet nominees was postponed. The cabinet members were supposed to be introduced for vote of confident to the WJ by President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani or one of his deputies on Saturday.
He said that the government was not yet ready to introduce the picks. The process could take place on coming Monday. “The voting process will start after careful assessment of the nominees’ documents by the relevant commissions of the Wolesi Jirga.”
It is while President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani has met the lawmakers regarding voting process.
While not disclosing the exact agenda of the meeting with the president, Urfan said the president consulted the MPs over approval of the nominees. The MPs were going take winter recess on January 21st, but the WJ would delay the recess for one week, he said.
Showing unawareness about details of the meeting, Sher Wali Wardak, an MP from Kabul, said that the president might conveyed a good message to the nation through the meeting with the administrative board members of the WJ.
He said that the president is authorized to ask the MPs for vote of confidence for the picks as mentioned in the Constitution. Meanwhile it is said the president might have asked the lawmakers give vote of confidence to the picks including those having dual nationality.
Member of Central Audit Committee (CAC) of the WJ, Ghulam Husain Naseri, said that the president might have asked the lawmakers to approve the list of all nominees in a package or reject all.
The president would have also asked them to even give vote of confidence to those who possess dual citizenships, he said, and warned the government to refrain from pressurizing the MPs as the WJ would not come under pressure.
He said that those who meet the criteria would get vote of confidence and the remaining nominees would be rejected. The lawmaker made it clear that they would follow the Constitution at any cost.
“There are nine nominees with dual nationality who will be rejected by the MPs,” he said.
When asked about reports regarding the cash deal between the parliamentarians and the government, another legislator Muhammad Iqbal Safi said that no such deal has been in his notice. However, he assured that MPs would vote without any pressure.
“Those who are skilled and qualified will definitely get vote of confidence. We will not surrender to pressure put by the president or the chief executive officer. Some of the nominees have the US citizenship and other countries. We asked the Afghan foreign missions to send us the exact details,” Safi said.
Sources said the pressure on the government is mounting as the top leaders know that most of the nominees would be rejected by the parliament. Recently, the national assembly approved a bill barring dual nationality holders from working as ministers.

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