WASHINGTON - The Afghan parliaments rejection of most of Hamid Karzais Cabinet nominees showed the presidents political headaches are far from over and its desire for a change in the war-torn countrys governance. Parliaments weekend action, in which 17 of Karzais 24 nominees were voted down in a secret ballot, was a show of power by lawmakers willing to challenge his authority, The Washington Post reported Monday. It means the (parliament members) are thinking differently, and they want real change in the governance of the country, Kabul parliament member Shukria Barakzai told the Post. The president was surprised by the rejections, Karzai spokesman Wahid Omar said, adding he will respect the decision. Parliament is soon scheduled to recess for six weeks, raising concerns among Afghan and Western officials that such a long delay in forming a new government would put off implementing badly needed reforms. Meanwhile, Norways Kai Eide, who heads the United Nations in Kabul, warned Afghanistan could flounder without a functioning government. It prolongs the situation without a functioning government, and thats a situation that has lasted since the (August) election period, Eide said. The elections were marred by allegations of massive voter fraud but Karzai eventually won a second term after runoff elections were canceled. Since then Karzai has been under intense pressure from his Western supporters to crack down on widespread corruption in his government or else lose their support. The decision also signaled that lawmakers were not convinced the president had met the requirements of selecting qualified and skilled people, The New York Times reported. The members of the Parliament cast their vote based on merit, not based on tribal or ideology or factional interests, said Kabir Rangbar, an independent member from Kabul. This is a reaction against Karzais choices.