The government on Tuesday was criticized by lawyers and watchdog organizations for allowing the four voted-out ministers and the acting Central Bank chief to continue their work as caretakers, saying the government is applying a double standard in this situation.
The critics also said that allowing the acting ministers and bank chief to continue working violates the country’s Constitution.
Central Bank acting governor Ajmal Ahmadi, acting education minister Rangina Hamidi, acting minister of rural rehabilitation Mujib Rahman Karimi, information and culture minister Tahir Zuhair, and women’s affairs nominee Hasina Safi are the voted-out officials in question.
According to caretakers’ law, acting officials can work for two months in a post.
Article five of the law says that if a nominee minister is not approved by the parliament, he/she cannot continue working as caretaker of that ministry.
“Article five of the caretakers’ law is clear. If a nominee does not get a vote of confidence from the parliament, he (/she) can never remain as a caretaker in the same office.
The continuation of the work of the nominee ministers and the head of the Central Bank is in contravention of all laws in Afghanistan,” said Arash Shaheerpor, a lawyer.
“The government’s stance on this matter shows a double standard. When it comes to the interests of officials, the implementation of law comes second and personal interests are given priority,” said Mudasir Islami, spokesman for the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC).
The Central Bank acting chief, as well as the acting ministers of education, information and culture, rural rehabilitation, and women’s affairs have remained in their positions for the last three months.
“We request they (the government) to establish their red lines in Afghanistan wherever they see fit, establish them with the opposition, but then they should act based on those red lines,” said Waheed Farzaee, a lawyer.
Lawmakers said they hope that the government would introduce new nominees for the five positions ahead of the parliament’s winter recess.
“The government should introduce nominees for the ministries so that the caretaking trend ends,” said Lal Gul Lal, head of the human rights organization of Afghanistan.
The parliament will start its 45-day summer recess on Jan. 4.
The Presidential Palace did not comment about the introduction of the new nominees but said that the caretakers will continue in their jobs.