Cabinet formation a test for Afghan president against corruption 2009-12-20 18:31:55   Print

    By Abdul Haleem

    KABUL, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Amid criticism at home and abroad over alleged corruption in Afghanistan, president Hamid karzai on Saturday presented the much-awaited list of ministerial nominees to Wolesi Jirga or lower house of parliament for approval to form a new cabinet.

    Of the 23 nominees, 16 are old faces, either sitting or former ministers. Some of them have been accused of involvement in corruption and some other problems, according to local media reports.

    "If we have the same cabinet the future will not be different than today," parliamentarian Ramazan Bashardost said while referring to the personalities of the new ministerial designates.

    Meantime, some others believed that the list of nominees has been prepared under pressure. However, a spokesman of Presidential Palace, Siamak Heravi rejected the notion, saying the president giving priority to the national interest and has picked up the personalities in accordance with the interests and the will of Afghan people.

    While presenting the list of the nominees, Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim told the parliament that those ministers with good reputation and good achievements. So that they should be remained.

    In the new cabinet the serving Defense, Interior, Finance and few more ministers would remain in their offices.

    The ministers' name was supposed to be presented to parliament within two weeks after President Hamid karzai's inauguration ceremony for the second five-year term on Nov. 19.

    The international community, particularly the United States and Britain have been asking President karzai to bring reform and eradicate corruption in the new administration. Otherwise the donors would withhold their supports to Afghanistan.

    Afghan administration's popularity has been eroded mostly due to failure to improve security and crack down on the alleged corrupt officials.

    Some western leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama in their congratulatory messages to President Karzai over his re-election urged him to eradicate corruption.

    Common Afghans also said that the re-instating old faces in the new cabinet would not bring a great change to the life of the country's ordinary people.

    "These faces have failed to bring a change in our life over the past eight years; and so, their remaining in office would not change our life in the next five years particularly in the face of reduction to world community's contribution," an ordinary Afghan citizen Farooq Shah guessed.

    A women right activist Ms. Saraya Parlika also expressed her pessimism and said that in the new cabinet only one lady represents women segment which makes half of the country's population.

    She opined that overlooking women would damage democracy and even slow down the process of democratization in the country.

    "Unfortunately, little change is seen in the new cabinet and so, it is unnecessary to pine hope to those officials who have lost golden opportunities over the past eight years to rebuild the war-shuttered country," parliamentarian Syed Mohammad Gulabzoi said.

    The Lower House would review the profiles of the nominees and give vote of confidence to cabinet members within few days. However, eradicating corruption and showing ability in brining good governance would remain a challenge ahead of the new administration, analysts here said.

Editor: Zhang Xiang
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