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MPs asked not to use parliamentary resourcesBy Dec 17, 2010 - 19:01
Parliamentarians were asked to stop holding meetings in Wolesi Jirga halls until Jan. 16, 2011, the secretariat said in an emailed statement.
"Under Articles 104 and 107 of the Afghan Constitution, the parliament has no sessions. No one, therefore, can use resources of the national assembly, until its formal inauguration," it added.
Article 104 states both houses of parliament hold their sessions simultaneously but separately. Under the following circumstances, they can hold a joint sitting:
"When the legislative session, or the annual session, is inaugurated by the president and when it is deemed necessary by the president. In this case, the Wolesi Jirga speaker chairs the joint session ..."
The Wolesi Jirga Secretariat issued the warning days after successful parliamentary candidates met in the house, asking the president to inaugurate the new assembly as soon as possible.
On the other hand, parliamentarian Muhammad Kabir Ranjbar said MPs reserved the right to use the resources of the Wolesi Jirga. "No one can stop us from using the facilities until the new parliament's inauguration."
However, Wolesi Jirga Secretary General Ghulam Hassan Gran asked all winning and losing candidates not come to parliament before its inauguration. "If candidates still insist on forcibly using parliamentary facilities, we have already put security arrangements in place."
Last Wednesday, Wolesi Jirga Speaker Muhammad Younus Qanuni and around 100 MPs met in the parliament's hall and vowed to continue their sessions until the inauguration of the new assembly.
"As we are active members of parliament, we will continue our sessions," Abdul Jabbar Shelgari, a representative from southern Ghazni province, told this news agency.