Karzai was dealt a major defeat this weekend when parliament rejected 17 out of his 24 cabinet nominees, insisting they were either too corrupt or unqualified for their positions.
The cabinet he presented last month featured a handful of pro-West members rounded out with warlords and Karzai loyalists. Reformists expressed disappointment with the choices, but few expected the parliament to do anything about it.
Now that they have, Karzai is facing yet another major challenge, though it is one that his spokesmen insist he is up to. If he is unable to finalize a cabinet by the upcoming London conference, however, he will face an uphill battle in soliciting funds for ministries that don’t have anyone formally in charge of them.