Government Organization

Government Organization

Government was reconstructed in classical Leninist fashion. Until 1985 it wasgoverned by a provisional constitution, "The Fundamental Principles of theDemocratic Republic of Afghanistan." Supreme sovereignty was vested in aRevolutionary Council, originally a body of fifty-eight members whose numberlater varied. Its executive committee, the Presidium, exercised power when thecouncil was not in formal session.

The Revolutionary Council was presided over by the president of theDemocratic Republic. Its powers included ratification of legislation andtreaties; official appointments; declarations of war and military emergencies;the creation of new government agencies; and approval of social and economicpolicies.

Beneath the council the cabinet functioned under a Prime Minister,essentially in a format inherited from the pre-Marxist era. Two new ministrieswere added: Islamic Affairs and Tribes and Nationalities. Administrativearrangements for provincial and sub-provincial government were also retained.

In Leninist style, the PDPA was closely juxtaposed with the formalinstruments of government. Its authority was generated by its Central Committee,whose executive stand-in was its Politburo. Presiding over both was the party'ssecretary general. Policy generation was the primary function of the executivelevel of the party, which was to be carried out by its members servingthroughout the government.

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