Amid uncertain fate of one third of cabinet, NUG still nonchalant

Sunday, 08 January 2017 03:27 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 137 times

With more than a month and half already passed since the disqualification of seven ministers by the Wolesi Jirga for development budget underspending, not only has the government failed to introduce their replacements for a vote of confidence, but the fate of the unseated ministers also remains unknown. Following Wolesi Jirga’s decision to dismiss the ministers, the government remitted the case to the Supreme Court to decide whether or not the lower house is authorized to sack ministers in absentia. Although the High Court has reportedly upheld the Wolesi Jirga’s decision, it is yet to officially declare its stance. Apart from the dismissed ministers, the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) has also been managed by acting minister since one year. 

 

While governance in the country seems to have been paralyzed to the point of crisis, any delay in replacing the deposed ministers can further exacerbate and complicate the situation. As key slots of the Afghan cabinet, the unclear future of ministries of mines and petroleum, foreign affairs, higher education and education has crippled the work of a major part of the government, and may precipitate further woes if it is not addressed. 

 

Despite Wolesi Jirga’s repeated calls for designation of new ministers, the government even appears to be playing down the issue of uncertain fate of one third of its cabinet. Without identifying priorities, the president and the chief executive officer (CEO) are also busy with matters far more trivial than the fate of ministers. 

The government’s hold-up in replacing the disqualified ministers comes as the Wolesi Jirga is fast approaching its winter recess. If new minister-designates are not introduced to the lower house for confirmation within two weeks, the process will then be postponed for at least two more months. If they are picked after two months and yet not all of them secure a trust vote, the government will still have an incomplete cabinet in the second half of its term. Whether or not and when the National Unity Government will honor its promises remains utterly unknown.