Showing posts with label national-unity-government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label national-unity-government. Show all posts

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Afghan Governance News

The two-year anniversary of the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG) is approaching and many of the expected actions (political and electoral reforms, scheduling of parliamentary elections, convening of Loya Jirga, etc.) that were supposed to take place have been put on hold. This raises the question of the legitimacy of the NUG and may likely cause some increased political turmoil in Afghanistan. The constitutional crisis and political deadlock is being carefully watched by donor nations and those countries providing troops for the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. Read more in "The Coming Political Crisis In Afghanistan - Analysis", Eurasia Review, September 27, 2016.

SIGAR Report - Lessons Learned. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has issued a report entitled "Conference Report - Lessons from the Coalition: International Experiences from the Afghanistan Reconstruction", September 2016.

Fighting Corruption? Not so much. "Out of 83 senior officials in the past two Afghan governments, only one - the current president, Ashraf Ghani - fully complied with financial disclosure laws . . ." Read more in "U.S.-Backed Effort to Fight Afghan Corruption Is a Near-Total Failure, Audit Finds", The New York Times, September 27, 2016.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Afghan Cabinet Announced - Finally

President Ghani announced the nominations for the new Afghan cabinet on Monday, January 12, 2015. He had promised to form his cabinet 45 days after his taking office but . . . well, it has only been over 100 days. I am sure Ghani and his CEO - Abdullah Abdullah - were conducting a lot of horse trading over the past three months.The nominations go to the Afghan Parliament next for approval. 25 ministers were named. Many of the names are young and relatively unknown to the public; but some have been long-time players in the Afghan political or security sector. Defense Ministry went to Sher Mohammad Karimi - the current Chief of the Afghan National Army (ANA). Ministry of Interior nominee is Nur ul-Haq Ulumi - a close Abdullah associate. Foreign Affairs went to Salahuddin Rabbani. He is the son of former President Burhanuddin Rabbani who was assassinated by a suicide bomber in 2011 while he was serving as the chair of the High Peace Council. National Directorate of Security (NDS) portfolio went to the current NDS chief Rahmatullah Nabil. Three of the positions went to women - Women's Affairs, Information and Culture, and Higher Education.

There are several news stories on this event; some are provided below:

- "New Faces vs. Old Structures: Afghanistan's new cabinet", Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), January 12, 2015.

"Afghan President Ashraf Ghani unveils unity government", BBC News Asia, January 12, 2015.

- The Resolute Support organization that replaced ISAF welcomes the news of the forming of the new cabinet. See "NATO SCR, RS Commander welcome Afghan cabinet announcement", RS News, January 12, 2015.

"Afghanistan Announces New Cabinet After Long Delay", Radio Free Europe, January 12, 2015.

- "New Afghan cabinet nominations announced", Stars and Stripes, January 12, 2015.

- "Afghanistan Announces Members of Cabinet", The Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2015.

AAN - Biographies of Cabinet Appointees

The Afghanistan Analyst Network (AAN) provides us with a detailed description of the nominees for the Afghan cabinet and their biographies. Read "New Faces vs. Old Structures: Afghanistan's new cabinet", January 12, 2015.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Still No Afghan Cabinet

The National Unity Government (NUG) of President Ghani and CEO Abdullah has still not appointed a cabinet. Several ministries remain vacant at the top position. The Afghan public and international community is getting impatient. Read more in "104 Days Without a Government and Counting: The national mood sours", Afghanistan Analysts Network, January 9, 2015.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hope for Afghanistan

The Director of the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) provided a briefing on December 17, 2014 for the Asia Society Policy Institute. You can read the transcript at the link below. Despite continued Taliban violence, a slowing economy, and political uncertainty (no cabinet thus far) there is some cause for hope. The Taliban were not able to disrupt the elections and the international community has signaled continued support in the coming years. Read more in "Afghan Think Tank Director Sees 'Growing Political Maturity' and Support for Democracy", Asia Society, December 18, 2014.

Challenges of Afghan Government

Afghanistan is entering the new year with a host of new challenges; and they will be getting less help in meeting those challenges. The cabinet has still not been formed up by Ghani and Abdullah, the insurgency is intensifying, attacks in Kabul have increased, and the Afghan National Security Forces are still experiencing capability gaps in logistics, aviation, and intelligence. The drug trade and corruption hampers development and governance in the rural areas. While the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan government officials are issuing confident messages about the "National Unity Government", "transition", and "Afghan security forces in the lead" - others are more wary about the future. One of those expressing concern is Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). Read more in "After Pivotal 2014, Afghanistan Faces New Challenges With Less Help", Voice of American, December 22, 2014.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Afghan Cabinet Picked?

It appears that some cabinet positions may be nominated; although the list has not been finalized. Some key positions may be filled by:

Defense Minister - Sher Mohammad Karimi
Interior Minister - Fazi Ahmad Manawi
Foreign Affairs Minister - Salahuddin Rabbani

Afghanistan Times, Dec 20, 2014.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

NUG but No Cabinet

The Afghan "National Unity Government" is having trouble getting its Cabinet up and running. In the meantime deputy ministers are running many of the important ministries such as the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Ministry of Defense (MoD). Both Ghani and Abdullah are locked in a protracted struggle to pick the cabinet. The international community is hoping that the cabinet will be picked soon; as that would be a sign of some real progress in governance and reform. Afghanistan Analyst Network's ". . . Martine van Bijlert takes a closer look at what might be holding up the discussions, where they may be going and how the government has fared so far". Read more in "The National Unity Government's Elusive Cabinet", Afghanistan Analysts Network, December 9, 2014.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Formation of Afghan Cabinet Delayed

The new president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, is taking more time than expected to form his cabinet. He is at odds with Abdullah Abdullah (new CEO) on the appointment of cabinet ministers. Read more in "Long-troubled Afghan government undergoes overhaul", Stars and Stripes, November 17, 2014.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Problems in Afghanistan's Future

An observer of Afghan politics, Mili Mitra, comments on the past problems of Afghanistan and the obstacles laying before President Ghani and the National Unit Government (NUG). See "Escape from Anarchy: Do the Afghan Elections Offer Hope?", Brown Political Review, October 23, 2014.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Constitutional Issues with NUG

Everyone is breathing a sigh of relief now that the election dispute between Ghani and Abdullah is settled. The question is how long will the honeymoon last. The National Unity Agreement or NUG provides for a power-sharing agreement between the two candidates but once they start opposing each other on issues the resolution process may be in question. Many observers are now looking into the possibility that the NUG could present unintended consequences - especially in regards to the Afghan constitution. Ghizaal Haress is an Assistant Professor at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) where she teaches Constitutional Law. She has posted an article entitled "Did Politics Compromise Afghanistan's Constitution?", South Asia Channel of Foreign Policy Magazine, October 23, 2014.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Difficulties in Forming Afghan NUG

The Afghan leadership are currently in their "honeymoon phase" of their newly formed "national unity government" or NUG. But soon the riffs will develop between the Ghani and Abdullah camps over selection of individuals for cabinet ministers and other senior leadership posts. Under the previous regime (Karzai) important leadership posts were filled under the patronage system. Karzai would divide these leadership positions to a wide-range of individuals - for the most part to reward his patronage net or to ensure the support of opposition leaders and powerful regional warlords. Many times provincial and district governors paid Karzai for their positions. Under Karzai the selection of government officials and provincial governors was not based on competence, training or education but on political loyalty. President Ghani has a plan to fill important positions based on skills and competence with a reform minded agenda but he will meet resistance from Abdullah who comes from a different mindset of ethnicity, patronage and quotas. Read more in "New Afghan leaders face culture clash as they form Cabinet", The Washington Post, October 17, 2014.