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Afghan Lawmakers Refuse To Confirm Seven Cabinet Nominees

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks as he introduces his cabinet nominees to parliament in Kabul on January 20.

Afghanistan's parliament has said it will leave seven cabinet nominees out of a mandatory parliamentary confirmation because they hold dual citizenship.

On January 21, lawmakers refused to consider Interior Ministry candidate Nur al-Haq Ulumi and the nominee for foreign minister, Salahuddin Rabbani.

The nominees for justice, labor, antinarcotics, urban affairs and culture and information ministers were also rejected.

Mohammad Saleh Saljuqi, a deputy speaker of the lower house of the Afghan parliament, said they had formally informed President Ashraf Ghani about their decision and asked him to nominate new ministers for parliamentary confirmation.

The development is a setback for Ghani and his national-unity government partner, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

The two leaders spent more than three months to agree on 27 names for the country's top posts last week, but nearly half of them are in jeopardy after facing parliamentary scrutiny.

With additional reporting by Reuters