President Karzai has submitted a new list of prospective cabinet ministers to the Afghan parliament after many of first choices were rejected but the new list is not immune to criticism. “Seeking to end a political standoff with anewly assertive parliament, President Hamid Karzai on Saturday submitted a fresh list of nominees for his cabinet in place of the candidates rejected by the legislature last week. But parliament showed no sign of bowing easily to Karzai’s wishes, with several members quickly raising objections to some of the new nominees and the house speaker promising a thorough vetting of the replacement candidates. ‘It’s a little better than the previous one — not a lot, but a little,’ said Khalid Pashtun, a parliament member critical of Karzai, speaking about the new list shortly after it was introduced. ‘Twenty-five to 30 percent are still objectionable.’ At the heart of the dispute is a struggle for power in post-Taliban Afghanistan between former guerrilla commanders, or warlords, who have backed Karzai and want a share of the spoils after his disputed reelection last year, and younger, reform-minded politicians who want to break the stranglehold of the old military power brokers. Concern that Karzai’s first proposed cabinet was loaded with allies of the military commanders led parliament to reject 17 of the 24 names submitted last week. That left some key ministries, including public health, education and energy, with caretakers in charge.”
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