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Over Half Of Karzai's Cabinet Nominees Rejected By Parliament


Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Afghanistan's parliament today rejected more than half of President Hamid Karzai's cabinet nominees.

Incumbent energy minister Ismail Khan, formerly a powerful guerrilla commander, was rejected along with the president's nominee for the Justice Ministry, Sarwar Danish.

The commerce, economy, public health, and communications portfolios were also among the 17 posts reported rejected.

Local media quoted by the French news agency AFP reported that nominees for education, interior, defense, finance, agriculture, and culture were among the seven posts approved.

Parliament stayed open for more than two extra hours to finish voting after a secret ballot process began early in the morning but ran into late afternoon.

The voting comes after weeks of the parliament quizzing prospective ministers on past policy and future plans. Karzai, whose August election was marred by fraud, announced his 25 cabinet nominees in late December, with the heads of many key ministries unchanged.

Officials said the position of foreign minister will not be filled until after the January 28 London conference on Afghanistan, which will be attended by the outgoing foreign minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta.

compiled from agency reports