AFGHAN LEADERS URGED TO COMPLETE CABINET
Afghan legislators and citizens on Sunday called on President Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to complete the cabinet, which still has empty positions almost 70 days after the two signed a political agreement.
Based on the agreement, which was signed in May, Abdullah will head the High Council for National Reconciliation and will be able to have his picks in 50 percent of the cabinet. The Presidential Palace has said that it has prepared its part of the cabinet, but it is waiting for Abdullah’s list.
Meanwhile, Abdullah has not yet appointed three deputies of the High Council for National Reconciliation, which has five members in total.
“They should not take the cabinet hostage. They should use the opportunity and send their picks to the parliament (for a vote of confidence),” said Abdul Rahman Wardak, an MP.
“Lack of implementation of the political agreement can cause problems for the peace process and the intra-Afghan negotiations,” said Abdullah Qarloq, a senator.
Sources have said that a list of Abdullah’s picks for the ministries has already been sent to the Presidential Palace, but some names in the list have been rejected by the president.
“They are not thinking about the people. They are thinking about their own interests,” said Qand Agha Barazanda, a Baghlan resident.
“They (Afghan leaders) should prioritize national interests rather that their own interests,” said Ahmad, a Kabul resident.
Based on the political agreement, Abdullah will lead the peace efforts for the country, but, according to critics, he has not made a tangible effort in this respect so far.
“Mr. Abdullah has shouldered a big responsibility, which is peace. First, he should complete the formation of the High Council for National Reconciliation as quick as possible,” said Shahzada Massoud, a political affairs analyst.
Abdullah’s spokesman Fraidoon Khwazoon said discussions are underway over the choice of individuals for the cabinet and the three members of the High Council for National Reconciliation.
“Discussions have been held. Various meetings have been held. The list of the high council has been prepared; the general assembly has been prepared. All these will be announced,” said Khwazoon.
The Presidential Palace did not comment, but it has already appointed some acting ministers, including for the defense and the interior affairs ministries.