KABUL - Parliamentarians observed a day of silence on Thursday to protest President Hamid Karzai's failure to nominate his Cabinet picks and three judges of the apex court. A week back, lawmakers announced a 15-day delay in their summer recess to help Karzai finalize the list of Cabinet choices and heads of independent organizations, as well as Supreme Court judges.
Over the past 18 months, acting ministers have been heading the ministries of water and energy, women's affairs, urban development, transport and aviation, communications and information technology. They failed to obtain a vote of confidence from the MPs last year. Although the constitutional tenure of three Supreme Court judges has ended, Karzai is yet to appoint their successors, despite several reminders from legislators.
During Saturday's session, members of the Wolesi Jirga members — or lower house of Parliament — thumped their desks after every five minutes as a mark of protest over the delay in Cabinet nominations. Until the month-long parliamentary break began, Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said, they would have no item other than the cabinet issue on the house agenda.
He gave the president three days to refer his picks to the Wolesi Jirga for a vote of trust. However, some legislators believed their protest would yield no positive result. "I don't think the government will meet our demand," said Mohammad Sarwar Osmani, a public representative from Farah. Fatimi Aziz, a legislator from Kunduz, sounded equally pessimistic. "The government is unlikely to heed our calls," he said. MPs have decided to bring a vote of no-confidence against the acting ministers who have failed to show efficiency, he concluded. (Pajhwok)