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Afghan Lawmakers Reject Three Ministers, Confirm Foreign Minister

Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Afghanistan's new foreign minister (file photo) (epa) KABUL, April 20, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan lawmakers have barred two serving cabinet ministers from returning to their posts.

Parliamentarians voted to reject President Hamid Karzai's nomination of Economy Minister Amin Farhang and Information and Culture Minister Sayyed Makhdum Rahin to hold the same posts in the country's new cabinet.

Both men have served in Karzai's cabinet for about three years.

Karzai's nominee for the post of minister of trade and industry, Haidar Reza, also failed to win a vote of confidence.

Afghanistan's newly established parliament began voting today on the nominations of 25 ministers proposed by President Karzai.

Earlier in the day, lawmakers confirmed Rangin Dadfar Spanta as the country's next foreign minister, approved the retention of Abdul Rahim Wardak as defense minister, and promoted Zarar Ahmad Moqbel to the post of interior minister. Others that passed the vote of confidence were Mohammad Ibrahim Abdel, who will service as the minister responsible for mine clearance, and Amirzai Sangin, whose portfolio will be communications.

Spanta, a Western-educated democrat and foreign affairs adviser to President Karzai, replaces Abdullah Abdullah, the last major leader of the Northern Alliance in the Afghan cabinet.

[For a profile of Spanta, click here .]

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

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