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Central & South Asia
MPs reject Karzai cabinet choices
Afghan parliament blocks president's second attempt to form a new government.
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2010 12:34 GMT
Saturday's voting is the second time a majority of Karzai's minister nominees has been rejected [AFP]

The Afghan parliament has rejected more than half of the president's nominees for cabinet posts in a second round of voting, after two-thirds of his first list of candidates were turned down.

As ballots for Hamid Karzai's 17 nominees were counted on Saturday, 10 had been rejected and seven approved.

Zalmay Rasoul, Karzai's longtime national security adviser, was confirmed as foreign minister.

Two of the three female nominees were rejected, but Amina Afzali was approved for the portfolio of labour, social affairs and disabled.

In a statement issued by his office, Karzai regretted the latest rejection. 

 

"In introducing the nominees to parliament a second time, Karzai considered the ministers to be competent and professional and when they did not receive a positive result, he regrets that," the statement said.

 

Second list

Karzai submitted a first list of minister candidates to parliament earlier this month.

In depth

  Blog: Karzai's humiliation
  Video: Afghan parliament challenges Karzai

Parliament then rejected 17 of 24 nominees and the president was forced to present a new list of names for the posts yet to be filled.

During more than a week of hearings, legislators have complained that the new nominees were even less qualified than the previous ones, and said that most were selected because of their ties with major political power brokers.

Shukria Barakzai, a member of parliament, said a line seemed to have been drawn between those legislators who were not impressed with Karzai's cabinet line-up and those who wanted to finalise the government.

Karzai is under pressure to have a government in place ahead of an international conference to be held in London on January 28 to discuss the country's future.

Karzai was re-elected in an August presidential poll marred by allegations of fraud.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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