Seven ministries and the Central Bank are still being run by caretakers--acting leaders unconfirmed by Parliament--over the last eight months. Despite promises, the government so far has not made any attempt to introduce new faces to the institutions.
The issue was widely debated in the Parliament on Monday as Speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani said the continuation of the caretaking trend will affect the government’s legitimacy.
Other MPs said that in recent days, figures close to the president have been appointed to different institutions and directorates, but the government is intentionally delaying responses to the lawmakers’ demands for the introduction of new nominees for the ministries.
The ministries of interior affairs, education, rural rehabilitation and development, information and culture, women’s affairs, finance and public health, as well as the Central Bank are run by caretakers.
“The continuation of acting ministers is in contravention of the caretaking law and the Constitution, and, on the other hand, their continuation raises strong doubts about the government’s legitimacy,” Rahmani said.
“This trend should end. Talented figures should be introduced to a confirmation vote and then continue their work, but it has not been done,” said Safiullah Hashemi, a senator.
The acting minister of education, Rangina Hamidi, the acting minister of women’s affairs, Hasina Safi, the acting minister of information and culture, Tahir Zuhair, the acting minister of rural rehabilitation, Mujib Rahman Karimi, and the Central Bank’s acting governor Ajmal Ahmadi are among those caretakers who could not get a vote of confidence from the Parliament last year, but they have remained in their posts.
“The acting ministers should be removed soon and new faces should be introduced for the institutions,” said Qamar Bano, an MP from Nuristan.
Lawyers said the government is intentionally not sending new nominees for the ministries to the parliament for a vote of confidence.
“The Presidential Palace is doing dictatorship. It removes one person when it wants and appoints him when it wants,” said Shakoor Dadras, a lawyer.
“The continued tenure of caretakers has no place in law for more than two months, and, if continued, it cannot be followed by good consequences,” said Rohullah Sakhizad, a lawyer.
Meanwhile, President Ghani appointed Kabir Isa Khan as the new head of the Administrative Office of the President on Sunday.
“The Afghan government ... will introduce new nominee ministers to obtain a vote of confidence,” a presidential spokesman Latif Mahmoud said.
Based on the law, caretakers can continue their work for two months in government institutions before the government should introduce new candidates for the posts.