The caretaker officials and a paralyzed governance

Sunday, 04 December 2016 04:01 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 192 times

While governance in the country is experiencing problems in all spheres, a third (eight out of 24 ministers) of the Afghan cabinet is acting. The Wolesi Jirga gave a vote of no confidence to seven ministers for spending less than 70 percent of their development budgets in the current fiscal year two week ago, while the Ministry of Mine and Petroleum (MoMP) was already being managed by an acting minister. 

 

The government apparently refused to accept the dismissal, and advised the unseated ministers to continue their work; however, it has referred the issue to the Supreme Court. The government believes that on the one hand, the lawmakers have disqualified the ministers in absentia, but on the other hand their legal term has already expired. While the Supreme Court is yet to decide the fate of the disqualified ministers, the lawmakers have called on the court not to hand down a verdict that can erode its reputation. 

Any confrontation between the government and the House of People at this juncture where the fear of the country slipping into a state of utter chaos is increasing day by day is extremely damaging. The more the confrontation deepens, the higher the anarchy and law violations and the paralysis of government affairs become. The Law on Caretaker Ministers will be violated once again if the government allows the dismissed minister to continue to work.  The National Unity Government (NUG) has a month and a half to introduce new minister-designates to Wolesi Jirga for confirmation. 

The NUG has to nominate and introduce new figures for eight ministries within the period of time specified in the applicable law. The government cannot end the term of Wolesi Jirga as the president himself authorized an extension of this stint through a decree. If Wolesi Jirga doesn’t have the power to disqualify ministers and monitor the performance of the government after its legitimate term, then what is the purpose of the continuity of its work? 

By defending their stance, the public representatives must now impel the president to respect his decree extending the tenure of the parliament, and introduce new ministers to the House for a trust vote within the specified period. The failure of lawmakers to accomplish that would mean the continuation of their work is ineffective and futile.