President Hamid Karzai has nominated former House Speaker Younus Qanuni as vice president to replace recently deceased Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, who died of a heart attack this month, presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi said on Tuesday.
Mr. Qanuni needs parliamentary approval before assuming the position of Afghanistan's first vice president. If he does receive the vote of confidence, he will serve in the administration until to new government takes over after the elections in April.
The decision was made after a meeting with Jihadi leaders and Fahim's family members, which was organized by President Karzai at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.
On Monday, an official from the Jamiat-e-Islami Party (JIP) - the Islamic Society Party - also confirmed that Qanuni's name would be officially referred to the president within the next two days. Marshal Fahim was one of JIP's top leaders and one of the most revered Jihadi leaders from the days of the Soviet invasion.
At the time, JIP member Abdul Hafiz Manour said: "There are many candidates for the post of vice presidency, but the majority inside Marshal Fahim's family support Mr. Qanuni as well as the president."
"The person who wants to be Marshal Fahim's successor must show his competence to JIP and Mujahideen factions," he added.
Even though Fahim's position will be filled in the Presidential Palace for the duration of Karzai's term, his place in the leadership of JIP and the Mujahideen factions will remain vacant.
Parliament's Defense Committee Chairman Homayoun Homayoun welcomed the decision made by President Karzai cautiously, but said that he hoped the decision was not made with ethnicity politics in mind.
"The decision that was made shouldn't have been on an ethnic basis, the decision must be taken on the basis of qualification, this will further create mistrust among the people, although Qanuni has the capability for the post," Homayoun said.
Meanwhile, Parliament's Internal Security Committee Chairman Mir Dad Khan Nejrabi expressed confidence in Qanuni and said the decision was "fine and proper".
A number of political commentators have said that several individuals were recommended for the VP spot, but that ongoing security issues in the country made Qanuni, who has close ties with mujahideen leaders around Afghanistan, the best person for the job.
"The nomination will fill the vacuum in the government, and considering of fragile state of the country, this was a good decision," analyst Rahmatollah Bezhan Pour said.