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Special commission asks MPs for 2 more days

Special commission asks MPs for 2 more days

Feb 21, 2011 - 18:43

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): A special commission set up a week ago to resolve the deadlock over the election of a speaker of the lower house, on Monday asked for two more days to figure out a solution.

"We could have reached our target on Sunday, but we spent the whole day with President Hamid Karzai," a member of the commission and MP from Kabul, Mohammad Mohaqiq, told Monday's session of Parliament.

The commission members would work out a political solution and share it with the president on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they would present it to Parliament, he said. The president also promised to help them with the political solution, he added.

The commission has 61 members, one from each province with less than 10 representatives at the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon and two from each province with more than 10 members in Parliament. Eighteen of its members previously ran for the speaker’s slot.

Since the inauguration of the new Parliament on Jan. 26, lawmakers have tried several times to elect a new speaker, but none of the candidates has been able to win the required number of votes.

Interim chairman of the Wolesi Jirga, Mohammad Sarwar Osmani, also asked the MPs to give two more days to the commission. Of the 170 representatives present at Monday's session, 165 held up green cards, which meant they agreed.

"We should not provide those figures who want to create problems in the Wolesi Jirga with an opportunity," Mohaqiq quoted Karzai as saying.

On Feb. 19, the commission came up with three solutions to solve the election debacle, including, sharing the issue with the Independent Commission for the Supervision of the Implementation of the Constitution or amending the code of conducts of the Wolesi Jirga.

On that day, only five MPs out of the 191 present disagreed with the solutions.

Former chairman, Mohammad Younus Qanuni, said he will accept any decision of the commission. Qanuni and his rival Abdul Rab Rasould Sayyaf are the key parliamentarians who have considerable support in the Parliament.

Some MPs had alleged that supporters of the rivals had used blank cards in the election, which made it harder for the candidates to get the 50 +1 votes needed to win. Qanuni has dismissed the allegation.


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