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10 cabinet picks to be named before Ghani’s US trip

Afghanistan
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President-Ghani-3Before embarking on his visit to the United States, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is expected to refer at least 10 cabinet members to the Wolesi Jirga for a vote of confidence.

The long-expected cabinet nominations were likely in a matter of days, a well-placed source in the government confided to Pajhwok Afghan News on Monday.

President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah would visit Washington next week, the official said, requesting anonymity. At least 10 Council of Ministers nominees would be announced by that time.

After being sworn in on Sept 29, both Ghani and Abdullah had promised unveiling the new cabinet within 45 days -- a deadline they failed to meet.

In late January, the unity government unveiled a long-awaited list of 27 ministers-designate, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the Afghanistan Bank heads.

But the lower house handed a trust vote to only nine of the nominees, including ministers of interior, foreign affairs, rural rehabilitation and development, finance, hajj, mines, public health, refugees and the NDS head.

Acting officials have been looking after affairs of many portfolios, pending new ministerial appointments. The lower house has repeatedly asked government to introduce the remaining cabinet picks.

Lawmakers believe the security and economic situation would worsen further under acting ministers, who do not enjoy much authority and hence their inability to take important decisions.