Political Landscape

Stanakzai Goes from Peace to War: For Afghanistan, finally a defence minister?

The national unity government is making its fourth attempt to appoint a minister of defence. On 24 May 2015, the presidential palace announced the nomination of Masum Stanakzai who has been the head of the Joint Secretariat of the High Peace Council and Afghanistan Peace and Reconciliation Programme since 2009. Members of Parliament will still need […]

Afghanistan (almost) has a cabinet: MPs confirm all candidate ministers

Members of parliament have endorsed all sixteen candidates put forward by Afghanistan’s national unity government. This means that, six months into its term, the country has an almost complete cabinet – only the defence minister is still missing. This is the MPs’ second such vote. The first, on 28 January 2015, saw only a third […]

The Unity Government’s First Six Months: Where is the governance?

After six months of Afghan Unity Government – what has been achieved? President Ghani, some say, has been ruling with a ‘two-man government’ (him and Hanif Atmar, head of the National Security Council), leading many to feel left out. ‘Strategic silence’ has become a somewhat mocking term for Ghani’s style of government – or is he […]

Electoral Reform, or rather: Who will control Afghanistan’s next election?

President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah, in the September 2014 agreement, agreed to electoral reforms “to ensure that future elections are credible.” The details of these reforms, when they should take place and who should design them are, however, proving contentious. Meanwhile, parliament has been working on relevant laws, while commissioners of the Independent […]

Winnowing the Cabinet List: MPs vote, nine of 27 ministers endorsed

Afghanistan finally has some ministers – nine men; yes, all those who succeeded in getting the lower house’s endorsement were male. Today (26 January 2015), the Wolesi Jirga rejected ten other candidates, while eight other prospective ministers had already fallen by the wayside (because of having a second passport, a criminal conviction, not having a […]

New Faces Versus Old Structures: Afghanistan’s national unity cabinet (amended)

Finally, Afghanistan has a cabinet, pending parliament’s approval of course, three and a half months after Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah were inaugurated as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of a national unity government. Getting an agreed-upon list has been a long, painful process, for both negotiators and for Afghans waiting for a government […]

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