Prime Minister of Afghanistan
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History of the office
The Chairman of the Council of Ministers was not headed by the Prime Minister, but the King. Only during his absence was the Premier the acting Chairman of the Council.
Until 1963, the King always appointed one of his relatives as Prime Ministers. The King also had the power to dismiss or transfer the Prime Minister.
This was changed, stating that the Head of the Afghan Government was the Prime Minister, and that the government consisted of its Ministers. It was the first time that the King did not play an important role in the Government, leaving it to an elected authority. However, it also stated that they cannot engage in any other profession during their tenure of office.
The Constitution of 1963 also granted the Prime Minister the power to summon the Electoral College in case of the death of the King. The Prime Minister only answered to the Wolesi Jirga about the General Policy of the Government, and individually for their prescribed duties.
In April 1978, Mohammed Daoud Khan was killed during a communist coup that started the Saur Revolution. The Communist government revived the office of Prime Minister that year, and it remained throughout the reign of the Communist and post-Communist governments.
The President was in charge of the appointment of the Prime Minister, who in turn appointed the Council of Ministers. The Council's stated purpose was to formulate and implement domestic and foreign policies, to formulate economic development plans and state budgets, and to ensure public order.
Under the Constitution of 1987, the President was required to appoint the Prime Minister in order to form the Government. The Prime Minister had the power to dissolve the government. Several Afghan Presidents during the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan era were also appointed Prime Minister. With the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Prime Minister was no longer in charge of the government. The General Secretary of the PDPA or the Director of the KHAD exercised greater power.
Also, the Constitution of 1990 established that only Afghan-born citizens are eligible to hold the office, something that was not specified in the previous documents.
After the collapse of Mohammad Najibullah's Presidency, a transitional state was created. Thus, the office of Prime Minister once again played an important role in the history of the nation.
There was constant friction between the President and the Premier during this period. The State had collapsed and there was not an effective central Government from 1992 until 1996. Thus, the position became de facto ceremonial, with little power in what was left of the Government.
The title was abolished when the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996 and proclaimed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Deputy Leader of the Taliban was often known as the Prime Minister throughout its rule. With the death of Rabbani in 2001, the Taliban decided not to revive the office.
Until August 1997, the government which the Taliban had ousted, which remained in rebellion until the end of the Taliban in 2001, had a Prime Minister in the government, but the position was abolished.
The current president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai was sometimes called the prime minister by the international media during the first years of his presidency.
Heads of government
(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)
|#||Name||Born-Died||Took office||Left office||Political Party|
|Kingdom of Afghanistan|
|1||Sardar Shir Ahmad||c. 1885–?||25 October 1927||January 1929||Independent|
|Emirate of Afghanistan|
|2||Shir Giyan||?–1929||January 1929||1 November 1929||Independent|
|Kingdom of Afghanistan|
|3||Mohammad Hashim Khan||1885–1953||1 November 1929||May 1946||Independent|
|4||Shah Mahmud Khan||1890–1959||May 1946||7 September 1953||Independent|
|5||Mohammed Daoud Khan||1909–1978||7 September 1953||10 March 1963||Independent|
|6||Mohammad Yusuf||1917–1998||10 March 1963||2 November 1965||Independent|
|7||Mohammad Hashim Maiwandwal||1919–1973||2 November 1965||11 October 1967||Independent
|Progressive Democratic Party|
|8||Abdullah Yaqta1||1914–2003||11 October 1967||1 November 1967||Independent|
|9||Mohammad Nur Ahmad Etemadi||1921–1979||1 November 1967||9 June 1971||Independent|
|10||Abdul Zahir||1910–1983||9 June 1971||12 November 1972||Independent|
|11||Mohammad Musa Shafiq||1932–1979||12 November 1972||17 July 1973||Independent|
|Republic of Afghanistan|
|Post Abolished (17 July 1973-27 April 1978)|
|Democratic Republic of Afghanistan|
|12||Nur Muhammad Taraki||1917–1979||1 May 1978||27 March 1979||People's Democratic Party
|13||Hafizullah Amin||1929–1979||27 March 1979||27 December 1979||People's Democratic Party
|14||Babrak Karmal||1929–1996||27 December 1979||11 June 1981||People's Democratic Party
|15||Sultan Ali Keshtmand||1935–||11 June 1981||30 November 1987||People's Democratic Party
|Republic of Afghanistan|
|Sultan Ali Keshtmand||1935–||30 November 1987||26 May 1988||People's Democratic Party
|16||Mohammad Hasan Sharq||1925–||26 May 1988||21 February 1989||Independent|
|17||Sultan Ali Keshtmand||1935–||21 February 1989||8 May 1990||People's Democratic Party
|18||Fazal Haq Khaliqyar||1934–2004||8 May 1990||15 April 1992||People's Democratic Party
|Democratic Watan Party|
|Islamic State of Afghanistan|
|19||Abdul Sabur Farid Kohistani||1952–2007||6 July 1992||15 August 1992||Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin|
|20||Gulbuddin Hekmatyar||1947–||17 June 1993||28 June 1994||Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin|
|21||Arsala Rahmani Daulat2||1937–2012||28 June 1994||1995||Islamic Dawah Organisation|
|22||Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai3||1944–||1995||26 June 1996||Islamic Dawah Organisation|
|23||Gulbuddin Hekmatyar||1947–||26 June 1996||27 September 1996||Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin|
|Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan|
|24||Mullah Mohammad Rabbani||1956–2001||27 September 1996||21 April 2001||Taliban|
|25||Mawlawi Abdul Kabir4||1958/1963–||21 April 2001||13 November 2001||Taliban|
|Northern Alliance of Afghanistan|
|I||Gulbuddin Hekmatyar||1947–||27 September 1996||11 August 1997||Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
|II||Abdul Rahim Ghafoorzai||1947–1997||11 August 1997||21 August 1997||Northern Alliance|
|III||Abdul Ghafoor Ravan Farhâdi||1929–||21 August 1997||13 November 2001||Northern Alliance|
|Islamic Transitional State of Afghanistan|
|26||Abdul Ghafoor Ravan Farhâdi||1929–||13 November 2001||22 December 2001||Northern Alliance|
|Post Abolished (22 December 2001-7 December 2004)|
|Islamic Republic of Afghanistan|
|Post Abolished (since 7 December 2004)|
- Abdullah Yaqta was prime minister in an acting capacity.
- Arsala Rahmani was prime minister in an acting capacity.
- Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai was prime minister in an acting capacity.
- Mawlawi Abdul Kabir was prime minister in an acting capacity.
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