Karzai Appoints Four Provincial Governors

In April 2012, Afghan President Hamid Karzai approved new governor appointments for Sar-e Pul, Logar, Uruzgan, and Farah provinces. According to the Afghan Constitution, President Hamid Karzai appoints each of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial governors. The Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) nominates a list of potential candidates from which Karzai makes a final choice. Karzai uses his network of patronage to influence and shape Afghan politics by appointing provincial officials and co-opting opposition figures. Karzai has strived to keep the central government actively involved in decisions at the provincial level, and has often selected governors to secure the backing of local powerbrokers and influence their constituencies. He has also used these appointments to reward officials who have supported him.

Governors do not serve for specific term lengths and the president can replace or relocate them whenever it is politically advantageous. Although governors typically serve for at least one year, some have remained at their positions for as long as seven years. Of the four recent governor appointees, one has been closely affiliated with the Karzai network in southern Afghanistan and the others have previously held provincial-level positions in Karzai’s administration.