Afghan parliament dismisses three ministers

Kabul, Nov 12 (IANS) Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of parliament, has disqualified three ministers over failure in spending their development budgets, Speaker Abdul Raouf Ibrahimi announced on Saturday.

The dismissed ministers included Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Nasren Oryakhel and Public Works Minister Mahmood Baligh, Xinhua news agency reported.

The legislators of the 249-seat Wolesi Jirga last week announced that they would summon ministers from November 12 over their failure to spend development budgets and the officials should give to lawmakers satisfactory reasons for not spending the money.

In Saturday’s voting, Rabbani received 140 votes to be dismissed against 58 votes of confidence while Baligh was disqualified after receiving 144 votes against and 56 votes in favour.

Out of available lawmakers in Saturday’s session, 144 voted against Oryakhel, one of the four women ministers in the cabinet, and 56 voted in favour of her.

The Afghan government has 25 ministries and 13 more ministers are expected to be summoned in the coming days over the same issue.