MPs refuse to vote for rejected Cabinet nomineesBy Abasin Zaheer & Meer Agha Nasrat Samimi Feb 16, 2012 - 18:20
KABUL (PAN): Some Wolesi Jirga (lower house of Parliament) members on Thursday refused to vote for the ministers-designate they had already rejected until the assembly’s internal procedure code was amended.
But other lawmakers and legal experts said parliamentarians could cast votes for the candidates who were denied trust vote during the Parliament’s last term.
President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday introduced nine Cabinet picks for a vote of confidence. Deputy Secretary Mohammad Farhad Azimi confirmed the Parliament Secretariat had received a list of the ministers-designate through the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
Mohammad Ishmail has been named as minister of energy and water, Eng. Amirzai Sangin as minister of telecommunications, Dr. Suraya Dalil as minister of public health and Dr. Hassan Bano Ghazanfar as minister of women’s’ affairs.
Dr. Obaidullah Obaid has been nominated as minister of higher education, Wais Ahmad Barmak as minister of rural rehabilitation, Daud Ali Najafi as minister of transport and civil aviation, Hassan Abdulhai as minister of urban development and Eng. Najibullah Awjan as minister of public works.
Seven of the nominees have already been rejected by the house. Re-introduction of rejected candidates was against the Wolesi Jirga’s internal procedure code, Asadullah Sadati, an MP from central Daikundi province, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Quoting Rule 76 of Chapter 13 of the Code, he said: “A minister-designate, if rejected by the house, cannot be nominated again for the same post under Clauses 11 and 12 of Article 64 of the Constitution.”
MP from Kandahar Shakeeba Hashmi believed the relevant law must have been amended before the Cabinet picks were introduced. The Wolesi Jirga should not compromise on the issue, she stressed.
Azimi said there was no legal bar on casting votes for the seven people who had failed to win a vote of confidence.
According to Abdul Sattar Sadat, a legal expert, the Wolesi Jirga’s code was about internal matters of the house and members’ efficiency. He added the law did not create any legal problem for the president. “The president has the right to name ministers under Article 64 of the Constitution.”
But another legal expert and former MP, Abdul Kabir Ranjbar, claimed a rejected nominee could not be re-introduced by the president for a trust vote from the legislators who had refused to support him/her.
With Parliament having entered a new term, the president could re-nominate the ministers who had been rejected during the previous term, he concluded.