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Afghanistan Government
Capital:
Kabul
Country name:
conventional long form: Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local short form: Afghanestan
former: Republic of Afghanistan
local long form: Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan
Government type:
transitional
Administrative divisions:
34 provinces (velayat, singular - velayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Daykundi, 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, and 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:
according to the new constitution, no law is contrary to Islam; the state is obliged to create a prosperous and progressive society based on social justice, protection of human dignity, protection of human rights, realization of democracy, and to ensure national unity and equality among all ethnic groups and tribes; the state shall abide by the UN charter, international treaties, international conventions that Afghanistan signed, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
note: on 10 June 2002, the structure of the second Transitional Authority (TA) was announced when an Emergency Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) convened establishing the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA); subsequently, a Constitutional Loya Jirga was held and adopted a new constitution; under the new constitution the president is both the chief of state and head of government; the president and two vice presidents are elected by direct vote for a five-year 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; 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
chief of state: President of the TISA, Hamid KARZAI (since 10 June 2002); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President of the TISA, Hamid KARZAI (since 10 June 2002); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
cabinet: the 30-member TISA; note - under the new constitution, ministers are appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly
elections: nationwide elections are to be held by June 2004, according to the Bonn Agreement
Legislative branch:
nonfunctioning as of January 2004
note: under the new constitution, the bicameral National Assembly consists of the Wolesi Jirga or House of People (no more than 250 seats), directly elected for a five-year term, and the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (composed of one representative from each provincial council, one representative from each district council, and a number of presidential appointees; the presidential appointees will include two representatives of Kuchis and two representatives of the disabled; half of the presidential appointees will be women); the Bonn Agreement lays down a June 2004 deadline for elections for the first session of the National Assembly
note: on rare occasions the government may convene the Loya Jirga 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
Judicial branch:
the new 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:
NA; note - political parties in Afghanistan are in flux and many prominent players have plans to create new parties; the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA) is headed by President Hamid KARZAI; the TISA is a coalition government formed of leaders from across the Afghan political spectrum; there are also several political factions not holding positions in the Transitional government that are forming new groups and parties in the hopes of participating in the 2004 elections
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Jamiat-e Islami (Society of Islam), [former President Burhanuddin RABBANIS]; Jombesh-e Milli (National Islamic Movement), [Abdul Rashjid DOSTUM]; Ittihad-e Islami (Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan), [Abdul Rasul SAYYAF]; there are also small monarchist, communist, and democratic groups
International organization participation:
AsDB, CP, ECO, FAO, G-77, GUUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Said Tayeb JAWAD
consulate(s) general: New York
FAX: 202-483-6487
telephone: 202-483-6410
chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Zalmay KHALILZAD; note - embassy in Kabul reopened 16 December 2001, following closure in January 1989
embassy: Great Masood Road, Kabul
mailing address: 6180 Kabul Place, Dulles, VA 20189-6180
telephone: [93] (2) 290002, 290005, 290154
FAX: 00932290153
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
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