“Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president, suffered a humiliating setback in his attempts to form a new government on Saturday when the Afghan parliament rejected most of his cabinet nominees. In a rare show of defiance, parliament refused to endorse 17 of 24 nominees during a day-long secret ballot. The rejects included a powerful former warlord who backed Mr Karzai’s re-election last year. MPs hailed the move as a sign that parliament was willing to assert its independence, saying Mr Karzai’s picks were generally regarded as lacking the credentials needed to govern, and in some cases tarnished by graft allegations. ‘The bottom line is that many of the parliamentarians thought that most of these people were not qualified,’ said Daoud Sultanzoy, an MP who attended the session. ‘This is a major victory for Afghanistan.’”
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