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Afghan parliament dismisses two more ministers

13 November 2016 18:35

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Afghanistan’s parliament has voted to dismiss two more cabinet ministers, bringing the total number to five in two days.

The lower house of parliament, also known as Wolasi Jirga, removed the transportation and education ministers on Sunday.

Poor performance of the two ministries was the reason for the dismissal.

Finance Minister Eklil Hakimi was the only minister on Sunday to survive the vote.

Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and two other ministers were dismissed on Saturday.

Gul Padsha Majidi, a member of the parliament, said the assembly, which has a constitutional right to dismiss ministers, might hold votes on as many as eleven more ministers, adding, “This is our right and we will use it and will not let the government politicize this process.”

A joint parliamentary commission announced last week that it intended to grill the ministers over their failure to spend the development budget.

The Supreme Audit Office (SAO) of Afghanistan says a significant part of the budget might have been embezzled.

The parliament’s dismissal of the ministers came despite pleas made by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah to halt the votes.

Mirdad Najrabi, the chairman of the parliament’s security commission, said President Ghani and Abdullah had told the lawmakers that “their decision will deal a huge political blow to the government at this critical time and urged them to stop the process.”

The government does not favor confrontation with the parliament over the issue of the dismissals, according to a statement released by the presidential office. However, the parliament’s decision is respected, the statement said.

Afghanistan’s power-sharing unity government was formed following the disputed 2014 presidential election. It has since been weakened by infighting between rivals.

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