KABUL (PAN): Analysts said on Saturday the Wolesi Jirga's rejection of 10 cabinet members nominated by President Hamid Karzai was a huge challenge for his administration. Minister-Designate of Foreign Affairs Dr. Zalmay Rasul and six other nominees won a vote of confidence from the Lower House of Parliament, which threw out 17 of the 24 cabinet picks on January 2. Political analyst Wahid Muzhda called the rejection of cabinet picks bad news for the president. He said the government would participate in the London conference due on January 28 while the cabinet remained incomplete. The move would create severe problems for the Karzai government, believed Najib Mehmud, who said the decision was indicative of flaws in selection of cabinet choices. But intellectual Zia Rifaat pointed to the rejection of some qualified candidates by the lawmakers, who accorded approval to less competent ones. Without naming anyone, Rifaat accused some parliamentarians of being influenced by tribal, regional, linguistic and political biases. Saturday's vote may add to the political woes of President Karzai, who had 17 of his 24 original choices rejected three weeks back. A week ago, Second Vice President Karim Khalili introduced the 17 new nominees to the Lower House for approval. Miffed at the rejection of most of his second cabinet slate, Karzai said the Wolesi Jirga's decision was consistent with Afghanistan's Constitution. The MPs threw out 10 of the 17 nominations after questioning the candidates for a week on their eligibility for the slots. "The president respects the Wolesi Jirga's decision in that it's in line with the Constitution," his spokesman said. In a statement, Karzai's spokesman added the president regretted the rejection of his choices, nominated on the basis of competence, experience and consultations with the masses. Ministers-designate of foreign affairs, justice, haj, economy, labour, counter-narcotics and rural rehabilitation won the trust vote from parliamentarians. Importantly, the president's choices for women affairs, public health, higher education, transport and aviation, commerce and industry, refugees, border affairs, urban development and communications were thrown out. Under the relevant law, a cabinet nominee has to win more than half (50+1) votes from the lawmakers present. Saturday's vote may add to the political woes of Karzai, who had 17 of his 24 original choices rejected last month. frm/mud

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