Afghanistan Government - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

conventional short form: Afghanistan

local long form: Jamhuri-ye Islami-ye Afghanistan

local short form: Afghanistan

former: Republic of Afghanistan

etymology: the name "Afghan" originally referred to the Pashtun people (today it is understood to include all the country's ethnic groups), while the suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country"; so Afghanistan literally means the "Land of the Afghans"

Government type

presidential Islamic republic

Capital

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)

daylight saving time: does not observe daylight savings time

etymology: named for the Kabul River, but the river's name is of unknown origin

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

Independence

19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)

National holiday

Independence Day, 19 August (1919)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest drafted 14 December 2003 - 4 January 2004, signed 16 January 2004, ratified 26 January 2004

amendments: proposed by a commission formed by presidential decree followed by the convention of a Grand Council (Loya Jirga) decreed by the president; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Loya Jirga membership and endorsement by the president

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic (sharia) law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must have been born in - and continuously lived in - Afghanistan

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf GHANI (since 29 September 2014); CEO Abdullah ABDULLAH, Dr. (since 29 September 2014); First Vice President Abdul Rashid DOSTAM (since 29 September 2014); Second Vice President Sarwar DANESH (since 29 September 2014); First Deputy CEO Khyal Mohammad KHAN; Second Deputy CEO Mohammad MOHAQQEQ; note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf GHANI (since 29 September 2014); CEO Abdullah ABDULLAH, Dr. (since 29 September 2014); First Vice President Abdul Rashid DOSTAM (since 29 September 2014); Second Vice President Sarwar DANESH (since 29 September 2014); First Deputy CEO Khyal Mohammad KHAN; Second Deputy CEO Mohammad MOHAQQEQ

cabinet: Cabinet consists of 25 ministers appointed by the president, approved by the National Assembly

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 28 September 2019 (next to be held in 2024)

election results: Ashraf GHANI declared winner by the Independent Election Commission on 18 February 2020; Ashraf GHANI 50.6%, Abdullah ABDULLAH, Dr. 39.5%, other 0.9%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Assembly consists of:
Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats; 34 members indirectly elected by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed by district councils to serve 3-year terms, 34 indirectly elected by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed by provincial councils to serve 4-year terms, and 34 appointed by the president from nominations by civic groups, political parties, and the public, of which 17 must be women, 2 must represent the disabled, and 2 must be Kuchi nomads; presidential appointees serve 5-year terms)
Wolesi Jirga or House of People (250 seats, including 68 reserved for women; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: Meshrano Jirga - district councils - within 5 days of installation; provincial councils - within 15 days of installation; presidential appointees - within 2 weeks after the presidential inauguration (last held 10 January 2015); note - in early 2016, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani extended their mandate until parliamentary and district elections are held.
Wolesi Jirga - last held on 20 October 2018) (next to be held in 2023)

election results:
Meshrano Jirga - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 85, women 17, percent of women 16.7%
Wolesi Jirga - percent of vote by party NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 182, women 68, percent of women 27.2%; note - total National Assembly percent of women 24.1%

note: the constitution allows the government to convene a constitutional Loya Jirga (Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity; it consists of members of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and district councils; a Loya Jirga can amend provisions of the constitution and prosecute the president; no constitutional Loya Jirga has ever been held, and district councils have never been elected; the president appointed 34 members of the Meshrano Jirga that the district councils should have indirectly elected

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court or Stera Mahkama (consists of the supreme court chief and 8 justices organized into criminal, public security, civil, and commercial divisions or dewans)

judge selection and term of office: court chief and justices appointed by the president with the approval of the Wolesi Jirga; court chief and justices serve single 10-year terms

subordinate courts: Appeals Courts; Primary Courts; Special Courts for issues including narcotics, security, property, family, and juveniles

Political parties and leaders

note - the Ministry of Justice licensed 72 political parties as of April 2019 

International organization participation

ADB, CICA, CP, ECO, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (dialogue member), UN, UNAMA, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Roya RAHMANI (since 24 November 2018)

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, Washington, DC

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Ross WILSON (since 18 January 2020)

telephone: [00 93] 0700 108 001

embassy: Bibi Mahru, Kabul

mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO AE 09806

FAX: [00 93] 0700 108 564

Flag description

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 2 bands; the center of the emblem features a mosque with pulpit and flags on either side, below the mosque are Eastern Arabic 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; black signifies the past, red is for the blood shed for independence, and green can represent either hope for the future, agricultural prosperity, or Islam

note: Afghanistan had more changes to its national flag in the 20th century - 19 by one count - than any other country; the colors black, red, and green appeared on most of them

National symbol(s)

lion; national colors: red, green, black

National anthem

name: "Milli Surood" (National Anthem)

lyrics/music: Abdul Bari JAHANI/Babrak WASA

note: adopted 2006; the 2004 constitution of the post-Taliban government mandated that a new national anthem should be written containing the phrase "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) and mentioning the names of Afghanistan's ethnic groups



NOTE: The information regarding Afghanistan on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Afghanistan 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Afghanistan 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.