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Government Structure of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is comprised of the three branches: Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The President is head of state and executes his authority in all three branches in accordance with the Constitution. The President has two deputies: First and Second Vice Presidents.

In accordance with the Constitution, Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state. Islam is the religion of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Followers of other faiths are free within the bounds of law in the exercise and performance of their religious rituals.

The President is elected with more than 50% of ballots through free, general, secret and direct voting. The President serves a five-year term and can serve a maximum of two terms.

The Executive

Afghanistan’s Executive branch is constitutionally mandated to implement laws, rules and regulations. In accordance with Article 71 of the Constitution, the Executive branch is comprised of ministers who work under the President. Ministers are appointed by the President and approved by the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament).

Afghanistan’s Executive branch is currently comprised of 25 ministries and several independent agencies and departments as well as commissions, dedicated to one area of national concern and carry out governmental duties set forth in the Constitution.

The Judiciary

The Judiciary is an independent branch of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The judiciary is comprised of one Supreme Court, Appeal Courts and Primary Courts whose organisation and mandates are regulated by law.

The Judiciary is headed by the Supreme Court, which is in charge of Afghanistan’s judicial system and judges. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial organ and consists of nine justices, appointed by the President with the endorsement of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House). The initial appointments take place in accordance with Clause 3 of Article 50 as well as Article 118 of the Constitution.

Three justices are appointed for a period of four years, three for seven years, and three for 10 years.

Later appointments are for a period of 10 years. The appointment of the Supreme Court justices for a second term is not permitted. The President appoints one of its justices as Chief Justice. SC justices, except under circumstances stated in Article 127 of the Constitution, are not dismissed until the end of their terms.

The Legislature

The legislature of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a bi-cameral parliament which is called National Assembly. The National Assembly consists of two houses: the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House) and the Meshrano Jirga (Upper House). Under Article 81 of the Constitution, the National Assembly as the highest legislative organ manifests the will of its people and represents the entire nation.