Afghanistan’s parliament rejected more than half of President Hamid Karzai’s cabinet nominees on Saturday, after 70 per cent of his choices had been denied in a previous round.

The lawmakers rejected 10 of the 17 appointments, including two women nominees, presented to the lower house by Mr. Karzai. Only one woman won approval: Amena Afzali as minister of work and social affairs.

The parliament also approved Zalmai Rasool as minister of foreign affairs. Mr. Rasool was a national security advisor for Mr. Karzai during the president’s first term. The rejections were seen as major setbacks for Mr. Karzai, who wanted to have a functioning government before a January 28 international conference on Afghanistan in London.

In an unprecedented move earlier this month, the lower house rejected 17 — or 70 per cent — of the president’s original nominees, prolonging the two months of political uncertainty since Mr. Karzai was elected for a second term in November.

Only seven key ministers, including the defence, interior and finance portfolios, got votes of confidence in the first round.

Saturday’s decision was also seen as the last opportunity for the country’s parliamentarians to use their political muscle, as their term comes to an end within a few months.

More In: International | News