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Parliament delays summer recess

Parliament delays summer recess

By
On
Jun 05, 2011 - 18:47

KABULinfo-icon(PANinfo-icon): Parliament on Sunday announced a 15-day delay in its summer recess to let President Hamid Karzai finalise his long-awaited list of Cabinet choices for a vote of confidence from lawmakers.

Karzai was expected to send on Saturday the list of ministers-designate and other high-ranking officials of independent organisations, including the Supreme Court, according to Siamak Herawi, his deputy spokesman.

He earlier told Pajhwok Afghan News the list had been drawn up and would be dispatched to the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon Secretariat. But Karzai once again failed to keep his promise.

On Sunday, the majority of Wolesi Jirga members agreed to postpone the summer break until Karzai announced his new nominees. But some legislators did want to go on their month-long vacation from Monday.

A representative from Farah province, Samiullah Samim, said they should wait for the president to finalise his list of ministers-designate.

The tenure of three Supreme Court judges, including the chief justice, has ended, but the president has yet to introduce their successors to the lower house.

"If we did not give these officials a vote of trust, how we would face the public," Samimi asked, saying lawmakers had been unable to do anything remarkable due to problems between the executive and the judiciary.

The Attorney General's Office had denounced last year's parliamentary election as heavily rigged. The AGO set up a special court to study thousands of complaints of irregularities in the Sept. 18 ballot after approval from the president.

With the special tribunal yet to hand down a verdict in poll fraud cases, the president inaugurated the new parliament.

Mohammad Arif Rahmani, an MP from southern Ghazni province, believed national institutions needed to work day and night and that they should not leave until the Cabinet was completed.

But several others MPs were in favour of the recess. Abdul Rahim Ayubi from southern Kandahar province said they had wasted a lot of time raking up controversies with the presidency and the judiciary since the house was inaugurated. "The problems would persist. A delay in the recess would not help resolve issues."

He believed it would be a futile practice if they did not go for the recess.

"The special court would have been dissolved if we were united. All our efforts at disbanding the tribunal have ended up in smoke due to disunity," he added.

Supporting his remarks, Mohammad Alam Qarar, a lawmaker from eastern Laghman province, said the special court could hand down its verdict whether or not the house was in session.

After a prolonged debate, Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said those who wanted the recess to be delayed for 15 days should raise their green cards. Of the 140 MPs present, only nine opposed the delay.

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