MPs to meet president, CEO on cabinet issue
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirga on Saturday decided to send a parliamentary delegation to meet President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah this week to discuss with them the delay in cabinet formation and reasons behind it.
The decision comes as a week-long deadline the lower house set Saturday last for the government to introduce cabinet nominees for a vote of confidence expired today.
The lower house has warned of a unilateral decision if the government fails to introduce the cabinet.
After being sworn in on Sept. 29, both Ghani and Abdullah said they would name cabinet in 45 days, a deadline already passed.
Lengthy debates took place at today’s session about the delay in cabinet nomination.
Taking part in the debate, Abdul Rauf Inami from northeastern Badakhshan province said the government had been deceiving the masses with hollow slogans over the past three months.
Referring to the president, he said: “He sometimes raids hospitals and sometimes police headquarters, these are trivial things. Afghanistan has many big problems, the cabinet should be introduced in order some of the problems are resolved.”
President Ghani during the last three months had made surprise visits to Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital, Kabul police headquarters and the Pul-i-Charkhi prison and other places, reviewing activities there and dismissing some officials for negligence.
Inami criticised the government for handing over the affairs to acting officials.
Under the relevant law, acting officials could not perform duty for more than two months.
President Ghani earlier issued a decree asking former cabinet ministers to perform in acting capacity, but removed them two months later and replaced them with their deputies.
Lawmaker Sher Wali Wardak from Kabul said the president and the CEO had differences over the cabinet.
“As far as my information is concerned, they cannot introduce the cabinet for another two months because a buzkashi (goat bashing) is underway on the cabinet,” he claimed.
Wardak asked the government leaders to set aside their rifts and send cabinet nominees to the parliament for a vote of confidence as soon as possible.
His colleague from southeastern Khost province, Nasir Osoli, said the incumbent government was not a national unity government, but an alliance between two groups to share power.
“The president and the chief executive have been in tussle over the cabinet,” he said.
Nadir Khan Katawazai from southeastern Paktika province said the introduction of cabinet members was a constitutional right of the president only and he should exercise it.
After prolonged discussions, Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the deadline the house had set for the government expired today and now lawmakers should take a decision in the national interest.
A number of lawmakers said the president and the chief executive officer should be summoned to the house to inform them about reasons behind the delay in cabinet formation.
But others said members of the house administration board, heads of commissions and parliamentary groups leaders should meet the president and the CEO on the issue.
The idea of meeting the president and the CEO was endorsed by 72 of the 127 lawmakers present.
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