Three years after the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG), under president Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah, the two leaders so far have not managed to take solid steps to filling all cabinet posts – an issue that critics say has had a negative impact on governance and service delivery.
Currently, of the 25 cabinet posts, eleven are being run by acting ministers.
Recently government introduced eight candidates as possible ministers but the two leaders have not yet reached consensus on the remaining three.
Parliament speaker Abdul Rauf Ibarahimi on Monday said the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) is expected to vote on the eight ministerial nominees on Wednesday and that government should send the names of the three remaining candidates as well.
“Unfortunately our quorum is not complete, we can put it to vote on Wednesday if we have a quorum,” said Ibrahimi.
“A poor minister is fired and the one who has the power remains in his seat; it is an act of insult to the lawmakers,” said MP Akbar Stanekzai.
Ghani and Abdullah have been severely criticized for their failure to fill the posts.
“My personal view is that voting should be conducted for these ministers and we should cast our votes, the government should also make sure the other posts are filled,” said MP Sahib Khan.
Lawmakers argue that the caretaker trend has had a significant impact on service delivery in certain sectors and on good governance.
“At least for once they must remove the caretaker issue in cabinet and introduce the ministers,” said MP Sayed Nadir Shah Bahr.
“The government has decided to introduce ministers for all those ministries which have no ministers,” said deputy presidential spokesman Dawa Khan Menapal.
Recently government announced it had introduced at least eight candidates for the post of ministry of defense, ministry of interior, ministry of transport and civil aviation, ministry of communication and information technology, ministry of economy, ministry of public work, ministry of higher education and ministry of borders and tribal affairs.
However no decision was taken regarding the ministry of foreign affairs, ministry of education and ministry of information and culture.