Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has made two cabinet changes, a move condemned on Saturday as “unacceptable” by his governing partner, Abdullah Abdullah, at a time when the US is ratcheting up the pressure to reach a peace deal with the Taliban.
On Friday, Ghani dismissed interior minister Masoud Andarabi, appointing Hayatullah Hayat as caretaker minister. Army chief of staff General Yasin Zia was appointed acting defense minister. There was little explanation from the government for the changes, but the moves angered Abdullah. “This decision is against the country,” he said.
The changes come as a May 1 deadline nears for the withdrawal of US troops and America has increased pressure on the national government and the Taliban to end fighting.
The changes could be a sign that Ghani is pushing back against the US and opposition’s support for an interim administration. Ghani’s critics have accused him of clinging to power. He says he’ll leave office only through elections.