A presidential spokesman on Saturday said President Ashraf Ghani has promised lawmakers in Parliament that he will respect their resolution regarding cabinet nominees with dual citizenship and will replace those nominees who not have their second citizenship revoked.
“The president’s decision regarding the resolution of the House is that those nominees with dual citizenship and ones who have not revoked their dual nationality will be replaced with new nominees,” presidential spokesman Nazifullah Salarzai said. “The president has shown from the start of the national unity government that he respects the decisions of MPs.”
Of the seven total nominees who supposedly have dual citizenship, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has confirmed that Noorul Haq Uloomi, nominated for Minister of Interior, as well as Saadat Naderi, nominated for Minister of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, have successfully given up their respective second citizenships. In addition, The Administrative Committee of the House of Representatives said Salahuddin Rabbani, nominated for Minister of Foreign Affairs, has also given up his second citizenship. Legislators are expected to decide Sunday whether to put the three men back on the list of nominees that will be voted on next week.
The issue of dual citizenship has divided Parliament, with some MPs standing unbending against the appointment of candidates with close ties abroad. “People said not to vote for those whose wives live in America, whether they are minister, director or MP,” Kunduz MP Abdul Wudood Paiman said on Saturday. “You MPs voted and raised your cards, now you are going against the resolution,” he added, referring to emerging opposition to a resolution passed last week banning dual citizen nominees.
In addition to issues surrounding citizenship, some MPs have accused nominees of submitting forged educational documents. “In regard to education documents, the nominee for the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriates does not have a high school diploma, but the Ministry of Higher Education has confirmed the educational documents against the law,” MP Jafar Mahawi said, referring to Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, a nominee proposed by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
With over four months gone by since the national unity government first said it would have its new cabinet formed, the House Administrative Committee has said that it expects MPs to hold a vote of confidence on Tuesday or Wednesday of the coming week.