Afghanistan’s Government: A Brief Profile
By Kailey Nordgran
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, also known as Afghanistan, is located in South Central Asia. The government of Afghanistan consists of the President, council of ministers, provincial governors and the national assembly. According to the 2004 constitution, “Afghanistan shall be an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state” (Olam). To fulfill this constitution, Afghanistan’s government has three branches comprising of the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches.
The Executive Branch includes the President and the Vice President. The role of the president is to have power over the military and legislative affairs and serves as the head of state (“Afghanistan: Government”). The Judicial Branch includes the supreme court, with nine justices on the tribunal that are appointed by the president and with approval of the lower house of the nation’s legislature (“Afghanistan: Government”). Lastly, the Legislative Branch includes The House of Elders and The House of People. The purpose of The House of Elders is primarily an advisory role with some veto power, while The House of People creates and ratifies laws as well as approves the actions of the president (“Afghanistan: Government”).
Over time the government of Afghanistan has slightly changed to appease the U.N. and their citizens. On December 22, 2001, Hamid Karzai, a royalist and ethnic Pashtun, is sworn in as the leader of the interim government in Afghanistan. Later, Karzai was elected leader of the six-month government. The following year, due to a government requirement, Karzai chose the members of his government for a two-year term (“A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan”, 2011).
Almost two years later, after the Loya Jirga adopts a new constitution following input from Afghan citizens, a call for a president and two vice presidents is made (“A Historical Timeline of Afghanistan”, 2011). In response to the new constitution, president elections are held October 2004. Karzai was once again elected as Afghan President. After being elected president, Karzai appointed Amrullah Saleh to head the National Directorate of Security (NDS) (Ghilzai, 2014).
Karzai held a ten-year term, until September 2014 election. Ashraf Ghani was elected as the new president of Afghanistan, after two rounds of presidential elections are held due to claims of fraud against his competition, Abdullah Abdullah (“Afghanistan Profile-Timeline”, 2018). Although Abdullah Abdullah lost the elections, he ended up as the Afghan government chief executive, a newly created role with prime ministerial powers (“Profile: Abdullah Abdullah”, 2014).
In the leading years, the Taliban
took a lead in control over parts of Afghanistan due to corruption, nepotism,
factionalism, overall government dysfunction, and other weaknesses (“Afghanistan:
Growing Challenges”, 2017). Due to the Taliban, the Afghan government welcomed
the help of the U.S. military. Today, meetings with Taliban representative in
Qatar scheduled to discuss resolutions to the long-standing Afghan conflict
between the Taliban and Afghan government (“Afghanistan”). Although, due to
chaos being created by the Taliban during elections, the 2019 presidential vote
could be delayed like other elections in the past years. (“Afghanistan”).
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“Afghanistan: Growing Challenges.” Crisis Group, Watch List 2017, 30 Apr. 2017. Accessed April 10, 2019. www.crisisgroup.org/asia/south-asia/afghanistan/afghanistan-growing-challenges
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Ghilzai, S. “Biography of Amrullah Saleh.” Afghanistan Online, Afghanistan Online, 7 July 2014. Accessed April 10, 2019. www.afghan-web.com/biographies/biography-of-amrullah-saleh/
Olam, Abdule Hadi. Afghanistan History & Political System. Academia, pp. 1–16, Afghanistan History & Political System. Accessed April 07, 2019. https://www.academia.edu/10417392/History_and_Political_System_of_Afghanistan
“Profile: Abdullah Abdullah.” BBC News, BBC, 29 Sept. 2014. Accessed April 08, 2019. www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27138728