Afghan parliament rejects minister-designate for defence

Kabul, July 4 (IANS) The Afghan Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of parliament, on Saturday rejected minister-designate for defence, Mohammad Masoum Stanikzai, with the majority calling on President Ashraf Ghani to nominate a new person for the post.

“Since Stanikzai failed to obtain 107 votes in his favour, therefore the lower house wants the president to introduce a new person for the post of defence minister,” Chairman of the house, Abdul Rauf Ibrahim, said after counting the votes.

Out of 213 lawmakers attending the voting session, only 84 voted in Stanikzai’s favour while 104 voted against and the remaining abstained, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Afghan defence ministry has been run by an acting minister since Ghani took office last September.

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