The Wolesi Jirga or lower house of Afghan parliament on Monday refused to add to its agenda three newly-introduced ministers-designate, insisting on replacement of the acting ministries first.
Eleven ministries are currently headed by acting officials. On November 2, the lower house summoned 16 ministers and impeached the ministers of foreign affairs, labour, public works, education, transport, communication and higher education in absentia.
The ministries of information and culture, mines and petroleum and border and tribal affairs are currently led by acting ministers. Abdul Bari Jahani and Daud Shah Saba have resigned as information and culture and mines and petroleum ministers respectively.
The border and tribal affairs minister, Mohammad Gulab Mangal, has been appointed as governor for Nangarhar province.
Wolesi Jirga has repeatedly asked the government to introduce presidential candidates for ministries led by acting officials because working beyond two months in acting capacity is against the law.
The lower house said Tariq Shah Bahram was introduced as nominee for the Ministry of Defense, Faizullah Zaki for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and Nargis Nehan for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum to the house for a vote of confidence.
However, Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi told: “The Wolesi Jirga has decided not to vote for the three ministers-designate until the nominees to replace acting minister are introduced.”
He criticized the continuation of acting officials’ duty and said: “We have repeatedly asked the president and he has promised so to introduce cabinet picks, but the president has so far failed to meeting people’s legal request.”
He once again asked the government leaders, particularly the president, to respect people’s legal request and make the government credible by introducing candidates for vacant ministries.
A number of other lawmakers also asked the government to introduce ministers-designates to the lower house for a vote of confidence.