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World > Middle East > Afghanistan > Government (Facts)

Afghanistan - Government (Facts)
Country name: conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan
local short form: Afghanestan
former: Republic of Afghanistan
Government type: Islamic republic
Capital: name: Kabul
geographic coordinates: 34 31 N, 69 11 E
time difference: UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 34 provinces (velayat, singular - velayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Daykondi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghowr, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabol, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khowst, Konar, Kondoz, Laghman, Lowgar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Nurestan, Oruzgan, Paktia, Paktika, Panjshir, Parvan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Vardak, Zabol
Independence: 19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
National holiday: Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
Constitution: new constitution drafted 14 December 2003-4 January 2004; signed 16 January 2004
Legal system: based on mixed civil and Shari'a law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); Vice Presidents Ahmad Zia MASOOD and Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; former King ZAHIR Shah holds the honorific, 'Father of the Country,' and presides symbolically over certain occasions but lacks any governing authority; the honorific is not hereditary
head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI (since 7 December 2004); Vice Presidents Ahmad Zia MASOOD and Abdul Karim KHALILI (since 7 December 2004)
cabinet: 25 ministers; note - under the new constitution, ministers are appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly
elections: the president and two vice presidents are elected by direct vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); if no candidate receives 50% or more of the vote in the first round of voting, the two candidates with the most votes will participate in a second round; a president can only be elected for two terms; election last held 9 October 2004 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: Hamid KARZAI elected president; percent of vote - Hamid KARZAI 55.4%, Yunus QANUNI 16.3%, Ustad Mohammad MOHAQQEQ 11.6%, Abdul Rashid DOSTAM 10.0%, Abdul Latif PEDRAM 1.4%, Masooda JALAL 1.2%
Legislative branch: the bicameral National Assembly consists of the Wolesi Jirga or House of People (no more than 249 seats), directly elected for five-year terms, and the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats, one-third elected from provincial councils for four-year terms, one-third elected from local district councils for three-year terms, and one-third nominated by the president for five-year terms)
note: on rare occasions the government may convene a Loya Jirga (Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity; it can amend the provisions of the constitution and prosecute the president; it is made up of members of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and district councils
elections: last held 18 September 2005 (next to be held for the Wolesi Jirga by September 2009; next to be held for the provincial councils to the Meshrano Jirga by September 2008)
election results: the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) system used in the election did not make use of political party slates; most candidates ran as independents
Judicial branch: the constitution establishes a nine-member Stera Mahkama or Supreme Court (its nine justices are appointed for 10-year terms by the president with approval of the Wolesi Jirga) and subordinate High Courts and Appeals Courts; there is also a minister of justice; a separate Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission established by the Bonn Agreement is charged with investigating human rights abuses and war crimes
Political parties and leaders: Afghanistan Peoples' Treaty Party (Hizb-e-Wolesi Tarhun Afghanistan) [Sayyed Amir TAHSEEN]; Afghanistan's Islamic Mission Organization (Tanzim Daawat-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan) [Abdul Rasoul SAYYAF]; Afghanistan's Islamic Nation Party (Hezb-e-Umat-e-Islam-e-Afghanistan) [Toran Noor Aqa Ahmad ZAI]; Afghanistan's National Islamic Party (Hezb-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan) [Rohullah LOUDIN]; Afghanistan's Welfare Party (Hezb-e-Refah-e-Afghanistan) [Meer Asef ZAEEFI]; Afghan Social Democratic Party (Hezb-e-Afghan Melat) [Anwarul Haq AHADI]; Afghan Society for the Call to the Koran and Sunna (Hezb-e-Jamahat-ul-Dawat ilal Quran-wa-Sunat-e-Afghanistan) [Mawlawee Samiullah NAJEEBEE]; Comprehensive Movement of Democracy and Development of Afghanistan Party (Hizb-e-Nahzat Faragir Democracy wa Taraqi-e-Afghanistan) [Sher Mohammad BAZGAR]; Democratic Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Democracy Afghanistan) [Tawos ARAB]; Democratic Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Domcrat-e-Afghanistan) [Abdul Kabir RANJBAR]; Elites People of Afghanistan Party (Hezb-e-Nakhbagan-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Abdul Hamid JAWAD]; Freedom and Democracy Movement of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Nahzat-e-Aazadee Wa Democracy-e-Afghanistan) [Abdul Raqib Jawid KOHISTANEE]; Freedom Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Azadee-e-Afghanistan) [Ilaj Abdul MALEK]; Freedom Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Isteqlal-e-Afghanistan) [Dr. Ghulam Farooq NEJRABEE]; Hizullah-e-Afghanistan [Qari Ahmad ALI]; Human Rights Protection and Development Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Ifazat Az Uqooq-e-Bashar Wa Inkishaf-e-Afghanistan) [Baryalai NASRATI]; Islamic Justice Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Adalat-e-Islami Afghanistan) [Mohammad Kabir MARZBAN]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan (Hezb-e Harakat-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan) [Mohammad Ali JAWID]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan Party (Hizb-e-Nahzat-e-Melli Islami Afghanistan) [Mohammad Mukhtar MUFLEH]; Islamic Party of Afghanistan (Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan) [Mohammad Khalid FAROOQI]; Islamic Party of the Afghan Land (De Afghan Watan Islami Gond) [Mohammad Hassan FEROZKHEL]; Islamic People's Movement of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Harakat-e-Islami Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Ilhaj Said Hussain ANWARY]; Islamic Society of Afghanistan (Hezb-e Jamihat-e-Islami) [Ustad RABBANI]; Islamic Unity of the Nation of Afghanistan Party (Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami-e-Melat-e-Afghanistan) [Qurban Ali URFANI]; Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan) [Mohammad Karim KHALILI]; Islamic Unity Party of the People of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Ustad Mohammad MOHAQQEQ]; Labor and Progress of Afghanistan Party (Hezb-e-Kar Wa Tawsiha-e-Afghanistan) [Zulfiqar OMID]; Muslim People of Afghanistan Party (Hezb-e-Mardom-e-Mosalman-e-Afghanistan) [Besmellah JOYAN]; Muslim Unity Movement Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Tahreek Wahdat-ul-Musimeen Afghanistan) [Wazir Mohammad WAHDAT]; National and Islamic Sovereignty Movement Party of Afghanistan (Hizb-e-Eqtedar-e-Melli wa Islami Afghanistan) [Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai]; National Congress Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Kangra-e-Mili-e-Afghanistan) [Abdul Latif PEDRAM]; National Country Party (Hezb-e-Mili Heward) [GHULAM MOHAMMAD]; National Development Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Taraqee Mili Afghanistan) [Dr. Aref BAKTASH]; National Freedom Seekers Party (Hezb-e-Aazaadi Khwahan Maihan) [Abdul Hadi DABEER]; National Independence Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e Esteqlal-e-Mili Afghanistan) [Taj Mohammad WARDAK]; National Islamic Fighters Party of Afghanistan (De Afghanistan De Mili Mubarizeeno Islami Gond) [Amanat NINGARHAREE]; National Islamic Front of Afghanistan (Mahaz-e-Mili Islami Afghanistan) [Pir Sayed Ahmad GAILANEE]; National Islamic Moderation Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Eatedal-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan) [Qara Bik Eized YAAR]; National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Junbish Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan) [Sayed NOORULLAH]; National Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan) [Mohammad AKBAREE]; National Movement of Afghanistan (Nahzat-e-Mili Afghanistan) [Ahmad Wali MASOOUD]; National Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Mili Afghanistan) [Abdul Rashid ARYAN]; National Patch of Afghanistan Party (Hezb-e Paiwand Mihahani Afghanistan) [Sayed Kamal SADAT]; National Peace Islamic Party of Afghanistan (De Afghanistan De Solay Mili Islami Gond) [Shah Mohammood Popal ZAI]; National Peace & Islamic Party of the Tribes of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Sulh-e-Mili Islami Aqwam-e-Afghanistan) [Abdul Qaher SHARIATEE]; National Peace & Unity Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Sulh Wa Wahdat-e-Mili-e-Afghanistan) [Abdul Qader IMAMI]; National Prosperity and Islamic Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Sahadat-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan) [Mohammad Osman SALEKZADA]; National Prosperity Party (Hezb-e-Refah-e-Mili Afghanistan) [Mohammad Hassan JAHFAREE]; National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Nahzat-e-Hambastagee Mili-e-Afghanistan) [Pir Sayed Eshaq GAILANEE]; National Solidarity Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Paiwand Mili Afghanistan) [Sayed Mansoor NADREEI]; National Sovereignty Party (Hezb-e-Eqtedar-e-Mili) [Sayed Mustafa KAZEMI]; National Stability Party (Hezb-e-Subat-e-Mili Islami-e-Afghanistan) [Mohammad Same KHAROTI]; National Stance Party (Hizb-e-Melli Dareez) [Habibullah JANEBDAR]; National Tribal Unity Islamic Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Mili Wahdat-e-Aqwam-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan) [Mohammad Shah KHOGYANI]; National Unity Movement (Hezb-e-Tahreek Wahdat-e-Mili-e-Afghanistan) [Sultan Mohammad GHAZI]; National Unity Movement of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Harakat-e-Mili Wahdat-e-Afghanistan) [Mohammad Nadir AATASH]; National Unity Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Wahdat-e-Mili Afghanistan) [Abdul Rashid JALILI]; New Afghanistan Party (Hezb-e-Afghanistan-e-Naween) [Mohammad Yunis QANUNI]; Peace and National Welfare Activists Society (Hezb-e-Majmeh Mili Faleen-Sulh-e-Afghanistan) [Shamsul Haq Noor SHAMS]; Peace Movement (De Afghanistan De Solay Ghorzang Gond) [Shahnawaz TANAI]; People's Aspirations Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Aarman-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Ilhaj Saraj-u-din ZAFAREE]; People's Freedom Seekers Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Aazadee Khwahan Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Feda Mohammad EHSAS]; People's Liberal Freedom Seekers Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Lebral-e-Aazadee Khwa-e-Afghanistan) [Ajmal SUHAIL]; People's Message Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Resalat-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Noor Aqa WAINEE]; People's Movement of the National Unity of Afghanistan (De Afghanistan De Mili Wahdat Wolesi Tahreek) [Abdul Hakim NOORZAI]; People's Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Ahmad Shah ASAR]; People's Prosperity Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Falah-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Ustad Mohammad ZAREEF]; People's Sovereignty Movement of Afghanistan (Nahzat-e-Hakemyat-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Hayatullah SUBHANEE]; People's Uprising Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Rastakhaiz-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Sayed Zahir Qayed Omul BELADI]; People's Welfare Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Refah-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Mia Gul WASIQ]; People's Welfare Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Sahadat-e-Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Mohammad Zubair PAIROZ]; Progressive Democratic Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Taraqee Democrat Afghanistan) [Wali ARYA]; Republican Party (Hezb-e-Jamhoree Khwahane-Afghanistan) [Sebghatullah SANJAR]; Solidarity Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Hambastagee-e-Afghanistan) [Abdul Khaleq NEMAT]; The Afghanistan's Mujahid Nation's Islamic Unity Movement (Da Afghanistan Mujahid Woles Yaowaali Islami Tahreek) [Saeedullah SAEED]; The People of Afghanistan's Democratic Movement (Hezb-e-Junbish Democracy Mardom-e-Afghanistan) [Sharif NAZARI]; Tribes Solidarity Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e Hambastagee Mili Aqwam-e-Afghanistan) [Mohammad Zarif NASERI]; Understanding and Democracy Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Tafahum Wa Democracy-e-Afghanistan) [Ahamad SHAHEEN]; United Afghanistan Party (Hezb-e-Afghanistan-e-Wahid) [Mohammad Wasil RAHIMEE]; Young Afghanistan's Islamic Organization (Hezb-e-Islami-e-Afghanistan-e-Jawan) [Sayed Jawad HUSSINEE]; Youth Solidarity Party of Afghanistan (Hezb-e-Hambastagee Mili Jawanan-e-Afghanistan) [Mohammad Jamil KARZAI]; note - includes only political parties approved by the Ministry of Justice
International organization participation: AsDB, CP, ECO, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Said Tayeb JAWAD
chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-6410
FAX: [1] (202) 483-6488
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador William B. WOOD
embassy: The Great Masood Road, Kabul
mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806
telephone: [00 93] (20) 230-0436
FAX: [00 93] (20) 230-1364
Flag description: three equal vertical bands of black (hoist), red, and green, with a gold emblem centered on the red band; the emblem features a temple-like structure encircled by a wreath on the left and right and by a bold Islamic inscription above


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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