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Afghanistan

Afghani Government Stats

Profile:

Hamid Karzai, in power since Taliban rule was ended in 2001, won a second five-year term in an August 2009 election widely criticised as marred by fraud.

Hundreds of thousands of votes were declared invalid, cutting Mr Karzai's share of the vote to under 50%. A second round was avoided when his main opponent withdrew, saying not enough had been done to prevent further fraud.

During his second term, Mr Karzai has admitted that his government and its Western allies have failed to bring peace to Afghanistan. He has called for firm aid commitments from international donors after the planned departure of Nato-led combat forces in 2014.

Ahead of the pull-out, his rhetoric has been increasingly critical of foreign forces, in what observers see as an effort to dissociate himself from his Western backers.

The president has acknowledged chronic corruption and pledged to tackle the problem.

National unity

Hamid Karzai was initially put in charge of the provisional administration set up when the Taliban were driven from power in 2001, and won Afghanistan's first direct presidential elections in October 2004.

He faced the tough challenges of forging national unity, disarming regional militias and tackling drug production.

Mr Karzai, a Pashtun leader, was seen an effective player on the world stage and initially he enjoyed strong backing from his Western allies.

However, the president's relations with the West cooled amid allegations of corruption in his administration.

Mr Karzai has defended the presence of international troops in Afghanistan, but criticised the heavy civilian casualties caused by civilian casualties.

When the Afghan army took formal command of all military and security operations from Nato forces in June 2013, the president declared an end to air strikes.

Taliban talks

From 2008-11 Mr Karzai held secret reconciliation talks with Taliban factions, with the knowledge and cooperation of the US, but dropped them as futile.

In early 2013 he and Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari agree to work for an Afghan peace deal within six months after talks hosted by Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.

President Karzai announced that he would hold direct talks with the Taliban again in the summer, but expressed anger at US plans to to do the same on the grounds that they would compromise the government's efforts.

Born in the southern town of Kandahar in 1957, Hamid Karzai studied in India and France. He was exiled in Pakistan for much of the Soviet occupation and during Taliban rule.

Definitions

  • Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
  • Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
  • Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
  • Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
  • Executive branch > Elections: Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election
  • Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
  • Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. "
  • International organization participation: This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way.
  • Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
  • Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
  • Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
  • Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
  • Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
STAT AMOUNT DATE RANK HISTORY
Administrative divisions 34 provinces (welayat, singular - welayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktiya, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan, Wardak, Zabul 2013
Capital city > Geographic coordinates 34 31 N, 69 11 E 2008
Constitution several previous; latest drafted 14 December 2003 - 4 January 2004, signed 16 January 2004, ratified 26 January 2004 2012
Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806 2013
Executive branch > Cabinet 25 m 2013
Executive branch > Elections the president and two vice presidents 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; election last held on 20 August 2009 (next to be held on 5 April 2014) 2013
Government type Islamic republic 2013
Independence 19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs) 2013
International organization participation ADB, CICA, CP, ECO, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO 2013
Judicial branch highest courts: Supreme Court or Stera Mahkama; consists of 9 judges
judge selection & term of office: justices appointed by the president with the endorsement of the Wolesi Jirga; justices serve non-renewable 10-year terms
subordinate courts: Cassation and sharia
2012
Legal system Islamic law & American British Law after invasion 2014
Legislative branch the bicameral National Assembly consists of the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats, one-third of members 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) and the Wolesi Jirga or House of People (no more than 250 seats); members directly elected for five-year terms 2011
Political parties and leaders note - the Ministry of Justice licensed 84 political parties as of December 2012 2013
Political pressure groups and leaders other: religious groups, tribal leaders, ethnically based groups, Taliban 2013
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal 2013

SOURCES: CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011

Citation

"Afghanistan Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Afghanistan/Government