Karzai Approves of Vote on Ministers’ Ouster

Unclear If He'll Actually Remove Them

by Jason Ditz, August 05, 2012

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has issued a statement today supporting parliament’s decision to remove two of his top cabinet ministers, Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Besmillal Mohammadi.

The statement comes in the wake of the parliament’s vote, which determined both are disqualified because of evidence of corruption and security lapses leading to assassinations. The two were both key US allies.

But being voted out of office and actually being out of office are two different things, and even with Karzai’s “support” there is no timetable for actually removing them,  and they’ll remain in their positions as “interim” ministers until a replacement has been named.

In practice, this could last for years, as Karzai has regularly kept “interim” cabinet members in place more or less permanently. MPs urged Karzai to show he actually supported the process by replacing the ministers immediately with caretakers, but this seems unlikely.

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