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Karzai suffers new Cabinet setback

The Afghan parliament yesterday rejected the majority of President Hamid Karzai's second slate of cabinet choices, dealing a new setback to the US-backed leader's effort to assemble a team that can focus on urgent reforms.

The US and other countries contributing troops and aid have pushed Mr Karzai to get his second-term administration in place ahead of a January 28 international conference on Afghanistan to be held in London.

The mixed results will further delay the process, two weeks after parliament rejected 70 per cent of his first cabinet picks.

The 224 lawmakers present approved just seven of 17 nominees, including Karzai's longtime national security adviser, Zalmay Rasoul, who will be foreign minister, a new justice minister and a woman who was named to the portfolio of Work and Social Affairs/ Martyred and Disabled.

The 10 rejected included two women nominated for the posts of women's affairs.

Sunday Independent