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Afghans Mock Ghani’s Meritocracy in Appointing High-Ranking Officials

(Last Updated On: February 21, 2018)

A number of Afghans are mocking President Ashraf Ghani’s meritocracy in appointing high-ranking officials, urging the government to appoint individuals based on their proficiency.

The issue went viral on social networks after a newly appointed governor said he was farming in his province when informed about his appointment as governor for Samangan province in northern Afghanistan.

One writes ironically on his Facebook page: “Sometimes, I’m also farming why am I not receiving any calls from the palace?”

Another says ,” don’t put your cell phones on silent these days, you may receive a call.”

At the same time, former government officials and members of parliament accept relations-based appointments in the National Unity Government (NUG) of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

“Unfortunately, there are some exceptions due to ethnic and political relations,” said Aminullah Shareq, former governor of Paktia province in east of Afghanistan.

“The tragedy in Afghanistan is that none of the officials including the President, the Chief Executive, the ministers, lawmakers, senators, governors and commanders are not eligible to be appointed in the government,” MP Ramazan Bashardoost said.

In response to these comments, a government spokesperson said having popularity among the people, the ability to create political participation among the people and improving relations between the government and people are the main criteria for a candidate in order to be appointed as governor.

“The [Samangan] governor was addressing a public gathering therefore he spoke slangy but some people acted biased,” Muneera Yousufzada, a spokeswoman for the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) told Ariana News.

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