Afghan President Ashraf Ghani unveils unity government

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani unveils unity government

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has unveiled his unity cabinet more than three months after he was sworn in.

The names of 25 ministers were read out at a ceremony in Kabul presided over by Mr Ghani and government chief executive Abdullah Abdullah.

The announcement comes after tortuous negotiations between the two former rivals who agreed to work together following disputed elections last year.

The cabinet still needs to be approved by parliament.

Mr Ghani’s cabinet contains three women, for the portfolios of women’s affairs, culture and higher education.

As widely rumoured, his new foreign minister is confirmed as Salahuddin Rabbani, son of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani who was killed by a suicide bomber in 2011.

New heads for Afghanistan’s National Bank and the NDS, Afghanistan’s National Security Directorate, were also announced.

BBC Afghan’s editor in Kabul, Waheed Massoud, says almost all the cabinet are new faces. Some are hardly known to the public.

Many of the new ministers are young and have not been deeply involved in the years of political fighting and war which have blighted Afghanistan’s recent past, he says.

“The government will refer them to the parliament for a vote of confidence,” Mr Ghani’s chief of staff, Abdul Salam Rahimi, said. He did not say when the vote might be held.




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