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World > Middle East > Afghanistan > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Afghanistan - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
On October 9, 2004, Afghanistan held its first national democratic presidential election. More than 8 million Afghans voted, 41% of whom were women. Hamid Karzai was announced as the official winner on November 3 and inaugurated on December 7 for a five-year term as Afghanistan's first democratically elected president. On December 23, 2004, President Karzai announced new cabinet appointments, naming three women as ministers.

An election was held on September 18, 2005 for the ?Wolesi Jirga? (lower house) of Afghanistan's new bicameral National Assembly and for the country's 34 provincial councils. Turnout for the election was about 53% of the 12.5 million registered voters. The Afghan constitution provides for indirect election of the National Assembly's ?Meshrano Jirga? (upper house) by the provincial councils and by reserved presidential appointments. The first democratically elected National Assembly since 1969 was inaugurated on December 19, 2005. Younus Qanooni and Sigbatullah Mojadeddi were elected Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga and Meshrano Jirga, respectively.

The government's authority is growing, although its ability to deliver necessary social services remains largely dependent on funds from the international donor community. Between 2001-2006, the United States committed over $12 billion to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. At an international donors' conference in Berlin in April 2004, donors pledged a total of $8.2 billion for Afghan reconstruction over the three-year period 2004-2007. At the end of January 2006, the international community gathered in London and renewed its political and reconstruction support for Afghanistan in the form of the Afghanistan Compact.

With international community support, including more than 40 countries participating in Operation Enduring Freedom and NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the government's capacity to secure Afghanistan's borders to maintain internal order is increasing. Responsibility for security for all of Afghanistan was transferred to ISAF in October 2006. As of November 2006, some 40,000 Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers had been trained along with some 60,000 police, including border and highway police.

Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) has also helped to further establish the authority of the Afghan central government. The DDR program, after receiving 63,000 military personnel, stopped accepting additional candidates in June 2005. Disarmament and demobilization of all of these candidates were completed at the end of June 2006. A follow-on program targeting illegal militias, the Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG), was begun in 2005, under the joint auspices of Japan and the United Nations. The DIAG program is still ongoing.

Principal Government Officials
President--Hamid Karzai
First Vice President--Ahmad Zia Masood
Second Vice President--Abdul Karim Khalili
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta
Minister of Defense--General Abdul Raheem Wardak
Minister of Interior--Zarar Ahmad Muqbal
Ambassador to the United States--Said Tayib Jawad

Afghanistan maintains an embassy in the United States at 2341 Wyoming Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: 202-483-6410; email: info@embassyofafghanistan.org).


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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