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Afghan parliament backs Karzai justice nominee but again rejects most others

[JURIST] The Wolesi Jirga [official website], Afghanistan's lower house of Parliament, Saturday narrowly approved [Sabawoon report; partly in Arabic] Habibullah Galib as the country's new Minister of Justice but overall rejected [CNN report] 10 of President Hamid Karzai's 17 nominees for cabinet positions, Karzai's second such setback in two weeks. A McClatchy Newspapers report quoted Sima Samar, director of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission [advocacy website] as saying that Ghalib's appointment was "a backwards step." Earlier this month, the Jirga rejected [JURIST report] 17 out of 24 initial Karzai cabinet nominees, including incumbent Justice Minister Sarwar Danish [official profile] after he was criticized for his inability to control Afghan jails and the mistreatment of detainees in Afghan Custody.

Karzai's new list had omitted [Reuters report] the names of all those rejected two weeks ago. Karzai was also forced to withdraw [Reuters report] the name of one nominee after he could not return from Canada in time for nominations. Karzai's administration has been alleged to be rife with corruption. In November, Afghan authorities announced that they had questioned two cabinet ministers [JURIST report] on corruption charges. Karzai had previously vowed [JURIST report] to fight corruption in his second term inaugural address amid pressure from the international community. Late last year Afghanistan was ranked [JURIST report] the second most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International [advocacy website], behind only Somalia.

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