| ||Wolesi Jirga empowered to dismiss ministers: Karzai|
By Javed Hamim Kakar
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KABUL - The Presidential Palace on Saturday acknowledged the Wolesi Jirga’s constitutional authority to dismiss a Cabinet member through a no-confidence vote.
Under Article 92 of the Constitution, parliamentarians could vote to oust a minister, Karzai’s office said, hours after defence and interior ministers were unseated.
The article says the Wolesi Jirga, based on a proposal by one-tenth of members, can interpolate each of the ministers. “If the responses given are not satisfactory, Wolesi Jirga shall consider a vote of no-confidence.”
It adds the no-trust vote against a minister should be explicit, direct and based well-founded reasons. This vote should be approved by a majority of members.
Earlier in the day, Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak and Bismillah Mohammadi were unseated over a string of rocket and missile barrages from Pakistan into eastern Kunar and Nuristan province.
Summoned by the assembly, the ministers answered a volley of queries from lawmakers. But parliamentarians, unsatisfied with the explanations, decided that Wardak and Mohammadi seek fresh trust votes from the Wolesi Jirga.
Eighty-six MPs found Wardak’s remarks satisfactory, but as many expressed their dissatisfaction. When it came to voting, 146 ballots were cast against the defence minister.
Seventy-two votes were cast in the defence minister’s favour. Failing to achieve more than 50 percent of votes, the minister automatically lost his position.
Of the legislators present during the session, 126 voted against the interior minister continuing in his office. Another 90 cast their ballots in Mohammadi’s favour. A number of votes were found invalid.
Speaker Abdur Rauf Ibrahimi urged President Hamid Karzai to introduce new candidates for defence and interior ministers to the house for a vote of confidence.
Karzai would announce his decision on the ministers’ ouster after a National Security Council meeting on Sunday, a statement from his office said.