President seeks to rein in senior officials

Kabul, December 9, 2004 (RFE/RL/ Amin Tarzi) - Newly inaugurated President Hamid Karzai issued a code of conduct in the form of a presidential decree on 8 December aimed at high-ranking public officials in the country, Afghanistan Television reported.

The 11-article code instructs senior government officials to report on the performance of their subordinates and to recruit personnel for their departments "based on a system of meritocracy."

The code forbids the discussion of issues debated in cabinet sessions by those in attendance without the consent of the president. Officials covered under the code are required within 14 days to provide the president with complete information "on their personal revenue, movable and immovable property, trade activities, and any debts of their own, of their spouses, or of their under-age children," according to Afghan Television.

The president is mentioned as being "the only authority entitled to judge the implementation or violation of the provisions" of the code of conduct. The decree represents the President's first act since taking the oath of office on 7 December.