More than 100 days after the govt formation, 25-member new cabinet announced

After weeks of dilly-dallying, wild speculations and guesswork, the national unity government finally announced the new cabinet on Monday.

The widely-anticipated announcement was made on Monday afternoon in presidential palace in the presence of President Ashraf Ghani, CEO Abdullah Abdullah, and other high-level government officials.

Putting all speculation to rest, the coalition leaders finally reached an agreement over the composition of new cabinet and distribution of key portfolios.

Sher Mohammad Karimi was appointed the Minister of Defense, Salahuddin Rabbani was appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Noor ul Haq Aloomi was appointed the  Minister of Interior Affairs, Jeelani Popal was appointed the Minister of Finance, Shah Zaman Maiwandi was appointed the Minister of Urban Development, Sadaat Naderi was appointed the Minister of Social Affairs.

Khatera Afghan was appointed the Minister of Higher Education, Barna Karimi was appointed the Minister of Telecom and Information Technology, Ahmad Siyar Mahjoor was appointed the Minister of Justice, Dr. Abbas Basir has been appointed the Minister of Public Works, Faizullah Zaki was appointed the Minister of Transport, Ay Sultan Khabari was appointed the Minister of Information and Culture.

Faiz Mohammad Usmani was appointed the Minister of Haj and Religious Affairs, Najeeba Ayoubi was appointed the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Nasir Ahmad Durrani was appointed the Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Zalmai Younusi was appointed the Minister of Education, Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz was appointed the Minister of Public Health.

Syed Hussain Alami Balkhi was appointed the Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, Rehman Ogly was appointed the Minister of Economy, Faizullah Kakar was appointed the Minister of Anti-Narcotics, Yaqoob Haideri was appointed the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Dawood Shah Sabah was appointed the Minister of Mines. Sardar Mohammad Rahimi was appointed the Minister of Commerce and Industries, Mahmood Saiqal was appointed the Minister of Energy and Water, Qamaruddin Shenwari was appointed the Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs.

The new cabinet comprises three women, one less than the promise made earlier by President Ghani. However, according to political observers, it is an impressive cabinet

Rehmatullah Nabil was appointed the Director of National Directorate of Security (NDS), Khalil Siddiqi was appointed the Governor of Afghanistan Bank.

The new cabinet comprises three women, one less than the promise made earlier by President Ghani. However, according to political observers, it is an impressive cabinet.

“It looks good but what matters is their work,” says Wadir Safi, political commentator and Vice President of Afghanistan Justice Organisation. “The people of this country have waited three months for this cabinet and now it is the time for them to deliver,” he adds.

The national unity government headed by President Ghani had come under blistering criticism for delaying the announcement of new cabinet. Soon after taking over, President Ghani promised to announce the cabinet within 45 days. However, the coalition leaders failed to reach an agreement over the composition of new cabinet.

The opinion polls conducted in the early part of his tenure showed an overwhelming majority of people satisfied with his work. However, 100 days after the establishment of national unity government, President Ghani’s popularity has plummeted astonishingly.

The main reason behind the decrease in popularity of President Ghani led national unity government, according to experts, is the delay in announcement of new cabinet.

According to sources, the coalition leaders had serious differences over the composition of new cabinet and distribution of key portfolios. It alsogave rise to many conflicting reports, which suggested President Ghani and CEO Dr. Abdullah were not on the same page.

Last week, the civil society came out in open against the new government, threatening to launch countrywide protests if the announcement was delayed any further.

“The delay in announcing the cabinet has harmed the credibility of this government and undermined the work they have done over the past three months,” says Nabeel Ahmadzai, a resident of Kabul. “Now since the cabinet has been announced, it is time for work.”

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