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Karzai Wants to Choose Own Cabinet - 2002-06-18


Afghanistan's newly-elected transitional President Hamid Karzai has told the country's Loya Jirga, or grand council, he wants to name his own cabinet.

President Karzai also called on the elective assembly to choose representatives to decide the issue of allocating seats in an interim parliament.

Addressing the 16-hundred Loya Jirga delegates Monday, Mr. Karzai did not reveal his choices for cabinet positions. But he promised a government that - in his words - meets the needs of the Afghan people.

Some delegates have complained that Mr. Karzai is limiting the role of the Loya Jirga. Under the terms of the Bonn agreement signed late last year, the grand council was to select members of the cabinet, choose an interim legislature and elect a head of state.

The council last week elected Mr. Karzai to lead a transitional government, which is to rule Afghanistan for 18 months and organize general elections.

However, some ethnic Pashtun delegates have complained that Mr. Karzai gave too much power to ethnic Tajiks and Uzbeks in the outgoing interim administration and that he will do so again.

The Loya Jirga, which was scheduled to end Sunday, is now expected to adjourn later today (Tuesday) or Wednesday.

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