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Afghanistan:
Government

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Country name
Definition
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
Definition
Islamic republic
Capital
Definition
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
Definition
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
Definition
19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
National holiday
Definition
Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
Constitution
Definition
new constitution drafted 14 December 2003-4 January 2004; signed 16 January 2004
Legal system
Definition
based on mixed civil and Shari'a law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage
Definition
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
Definition
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 held the honorific, "Father of the Country," and presided symbolically over certain occasions but lacked any governing authority; the honorific is not hereditary; King ZAHIR Shah died on 23 July 2007
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
Definition
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
Definition
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
Definition
Afghanistan Peoples' Treaty Party [Sayyed Amir TAHSEEN]; Afghanistan's Islamic Mission Organization [Abdul Rasoul SAYYAF]; Afghanistan's Islamic Nation Party [Toran Noor Aqa Ahmad ZAI]; Afghanistan's National Islamic Party [Rohullah LOUDIN]; Afghanistan's Welfare Party [Meer Asef ZAEEFI]; Afghan Social Democratic Party [Anwarul Haq AHADI]; Afghan Society for the Call to the Koran and Sunna [Mawlawee Samiullah NAJEEBEE]; Comprehensive Movement of Democracy and Development of Afghanistan Party [Sher Mohammad BAZGAR]; Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Tawos ARAB]; Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Kabir RANJBAR]; Elites People of Afghanistan Party [Abdul Hamid JAWAD]; Freedom and Democracy Movement of Afghanistan [Abdul Raqib Jawid KOHISTANEE]; Freedom Party of Afghanistan [Ilaj Abdul MALEK]; Freedom Party of Afghanistan [Dr. Ghulam Farooq NEJRABEE]; Hizullah-e-Afghanistan [Qari Ahmad ALI]; Human Rights Protection and Development Party of Afghanistan [Baryalai NASRATI]; Islamic Justice Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Kabir MARZBAN]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan [Mohammad Ali JAWID]; Islamic Movement of Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Mukhtar MUFLEH]; Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Khalid FAROOQI]; Islamic Party of the Afghan Land [Mohammad Hassan FEROZKHEL]; Islamic People's Movement of Afghanistan [Ilhaj Said Hussain ANWARY]; Islamic Society of Afghanistan [Ustad RABBANI]; Islamic Unity of the Nation of Afghanistan Party [Qurban Ali URFANI]; Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Karim KHALILI]; Islamic Unity Party of the People of Afghanistan [Ustad Mohammad MOHAQQEQ]; Labor and Progress of Afghanistan Party [Zulfiqar OMID]; Muslim People of Afghanistan Party [Besmellah JOYAN]; Muslim Unity Movement Party of Afghanistan [Wazir Mohammad WAHDAT]; National and Islamic Sovereignty Movement Party of Afghanistan [Ahmad Shah AHMADZAI]; National Congress Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Latif PEDRAM]; National Country Party [Ghulam MOHAMMAD]; National Development Party of Afghanistan [Dr. Aref BAKTASH]; National Freedom Seekers Party [Abdul Hadi DABEER]; National Independence Party of Afghanistan [Taj Mohammad WARDAK]; National Islamic Fighters Party of Afghanistan [Amanat NINGARHAREE]; National Islamic Front of Afghanistan [Pir Sayed Ahmad GAILANEE]; National Islamic Moderation Party of Afghanistan [Qara Bik Eized YAAR]; National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan [Sayed NOORULLAH]; National Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad AKBAREE]; National Movement of Afghanistan [Ahmad Wali MASOOUD]; National Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Rashid ARYAN]; National Patch of Afghanistan Party [Sayed Kamal SADAT]; National Peace Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Shah Mohammood Popal ZAI]; National Peace & Islamic Party of the Tribes of Afghanistan [Abdul Qaher SHARIATEE]; National Peace & Unity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Qader IMAMI]; National Prosperity and Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Osman SALEKZADA]; National Prosperity Party [Mohammad Hassan JAHFAREE]; National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan [Pir Sayed Eshaq GAILANEE]; National Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Sayed Mansoor NADREEI]; National Sovereignty Party [Sayed Mustafa KAZEMI]; National Stability Party [Mohammad Same KHAROTI]; National Stance Party [Habibullah JANEBDAR]; National Tribal Unity Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Shah KHOGYANI]; National United Front [Burhanuddin RABBANI] (a coalition); National Unity Movement [Sultan Mohammad GHAZI]; National Unity Movement of Afghanistan [Mohammad Nadir AATASH]; National Unity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Rashid JALILI]; New Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Yunis QANUNI]; Peace and National Welfare Activists Society [Shamsul Haq Noor SHAMS]; Peace Movement [Shahnawaz TANAI]; People's Aspirations Party of Afghanistan [Ilhaj Saraj-u-din ZAFAREE]; People's Freedom Seekers Party of Afghanistan [Feda Mohammad EHSAS]; People's Liberal Freedom Seekers Party of Afghanistan [Ajmal SUHAIL]; People's Message Party of Afghanistan [Noor Aqa WAINEE]; People's Movement of the National Unity of Afghanistan [Abdul Hakim NOORZAI]; People's Party of Afghanistan [Ahmad Shah ASAR]; People's Prosperity Party of Afghanistan [Ustad Mohammad ZAREEF]; People's Sovereignty Movement of Afghanistan [Hayatullah SUBHANEE]; People's Uprising Party of Afghanistan [Sayed Zahir Qayed Omul BELADI]; People's Welfare Party of Afghanistan [Mia Gul WASIQ]; People's Welfare Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Zubair PAIROZ]; Progressive Democratic Party of Afghanistan [Wali ARYA]; Republican Party [Sebghatullah SANJAR]; Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Abdul Khaleq NEMAT]; The Afghanistan's Mujahid Nation's Islamic Unity Movement [Saeedullah SAEED]; The People of Afghanistan's Democratic Movement [Sharif NAZARI]; Tribes Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Zarif NASERI]; Understanding and Democracy Party of Afghanistan [Ahamad SHAHEEN]; United Afghanistan Party [Mohammad Wasil RAHIMEE]; United Islamic Party of Afghanistan [Wahidullah SABAWOON]; Young Afghanistan's Islamic Organization [Sayed Jawad HUSSINEE]; Youth Solidarity Party of Afghanistan [Mohammad Jamil KARZAI]; note - includes only political parties approved by the Ministry of Justice
Political pressure groups and leaders
Definition
other: religious groups; tribal leaders
International organization participation
Definition
ADB, CP, ECO, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US
Definition
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
Definition
chief of mission: Ambassador William B. WOOD
embassy: The Great Masood Road, Kabul
mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806
telephone: [93] 700 108 001
FAX: [00 93] (20) 230-1364
Flag description
Definition
three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), red, and green, with the national emblem in white centered on the red band and slightly overlapping the other two bands; the center of the emblem features a mosque with pulpit and flags on either side, below the mosque are numerals for the solar year 1298 (1919 in the Gregorian calendar, the year of Afghan independence from the UK); this central image is circled by a border consisting of sheaves of wheat on the left and right, in the upper-center is an Arabic inscription of the Shahada (Muslim creed) below which are rays of the rising sun over the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning "God is great"), and at bottom center is a scroll bearing the name Afghanistan


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