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Legislators lose patience with acting ministers

Legislators lose patience with acting ministers

May 30, 2011 - 16:38

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): A number of Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members said on Monday that activities of acting ministers were illegal and called for pressurising the government to replace them with immediate effect.

Last year, Parliament endorsed a law allowing acting ministers to run some ministries for a month to give the president time to complete his Cabinet by replacing acting ministers through a parliamentary vote of confidence.

However, seven ministries are still being headed by acting ministers, nearly two years after their tenure expired. MPs have long been asking the president to name heads of four independent organisations and three judges, including the chief justice.

"All activities of acting ministers are illegitimate since their tenure has already ended," said Mohammad Sarwar Osmani, a legislator from western Farah province. He urged a tough stand on the issue to compel the government to resolve the problem.

For lack of authority, Osmani claimed, acting ministers had failed to address problems related to their ministries. "An acting minister is not authorised to order appointments and transfers, or spend funds on mega projects…"

Another member from western Herat province said it was their duty to lend legitimacy to the government. "Only Wolesi Jirga can give legitimacy to the government," Saleh Mohammad Saljoqi said. He called for filling vacant cabinet slots as soon as possible.

Irfanullah Irfan from Kabul asked the government to introduce the remaining cabinet ministers for a vote of confidence without further delay.

Deputy Secretary Farhad Azimi said they had not yet received any list of ministers-designate from the Presidency. However, he hoped the remaining ministers' names would be sent soon to the house.

The call comes a week after Speaker Abdul Rauf said the president was expected to send his remaining cabinet choices to the Wolesi Jirga Secretariat this week.


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