MPs split on protest over delay in Cabinet nominations
KABUL (PAN): Differences surfaced among parliamentarians on Wednesday over pursuing their agenda of silence to protest President Hamid Karzai's failure to send his Cabinet nominees for a vote of confidence.
The lawmakers observed a silence for the past four days against Karzai's reluctance to submit a list of Cabinet choices and heads of independent organisations, including the apex court.
Without debating any bills, the MPs thumped their desks every five minutes, with some reading newspapers and discussing private matters.
Ten days ago, Parliament announced a 15-day delay in its summer recess to let Karzai finalise his list of ministers-designate for a vote of trust from the house.
Ali Akbar Qasimi, a lawmaker from southern Ghazni province, said he was opposed to the protest and wanted the house to rise for the month-long recess. "I don’t think the government is going to send us a list of ministers-designate. Therefore, it would be better for us to go on leave."
Another legislator from northern Badakhshan province, Fauzia Kofi, supported his statement, but said they were bound to stick to their decision on delaying the recess and continuing the protest.
But Mohammad Sarwar Osmani, a public representative from Farah province, said they should cling to their stance, it was important to give new ministers a vote of confidence."We can meet the nominees while the assembly is in session."
His remarks were echoed by a member from central Dai Kundi province, Asadullah Sadati, who said putting the recess off for a fortnight was an issue of dignity for the house
After an hour-long debate, First Deputy Speaker Khalid Pakhtun, who presided over Wednesday's session, said they were unable to take a new decision due to a lack of quorum. Of the 249 MPs, only 80 were present.
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