People urge MPs to keep promises
KABUL (PAN): Public representatives in the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of Afghanistan’s parliament, should keep the promises they made to the public during their election campaigns, residents of three provinces told Pajhwok Afghan News on Tuesday.
Residents of the northern province of Balkh said that since parliament was inaugurated earlier this year, their representatives in the Wolesi Jirga have been working to advance their own interests instead of doing what is best for their constituents.
During last year's parliamentary elections, the sitting MPs made a number of promises, but they forgot them all after reaching their destination, said Toryalai, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif.
For example, some of the candidates had promised to construct roads, bridges, schools with their own money, he said.
A student of Balkh University, Mohammad Zamir, said lawmakers wasted their time opposing the special election court and had done nothing so far for the people of their respective provinces.
So far, no MP has raised a single issue of public interest on the house floor, he said, and instead were fighting for their own rights.
“People of Balkh province have no right to complain, because they had similar complaints about the previous parliament and they voted for them again last year," said a politician, Farhad Azimi.
But MP Hajji Abduhu, who won reelection last year, said his victory demonstrated that people were happy with him.
He took credit for bringing many reconstruction projects to his province and said that he shared the problems of his constituents with the appropriate local officials and ministries.
Meanwhile, people in the southeastern province of Paktia also said their representatives at the lower house should concentrate on problems facing the people of that restive region.
Representatives should support people and should not allow corrupt ministers and officials to play with the sentiments of the people, said Ismael, a resident of Zarmat district.
One resident of Gardez City, Naseer, said he did not see any work done by former parliamentarians and that people had little faith in the current parliament. “When candidates reach parliament, you will not see them until the next election,” he said.
But the principal of Rohi Private School, Mohammad Khalid Rashidyar, said the current MPs seem better than previous ones.
A representative from Paktia, Mujib-ur-Rahman Samkanai, said they would continue their fight against corruption in government institutions and would continue to support their voters. He said they were representatives of the public, not representatives of the administration.
People in northern Kunduz province told Pajhwok Afghan News that they were mistaken to give parliamentarians votes. They said the MPs were not committed to their promises.
Candidates during election campaigns promised people to construct roads, schools and clinics, as well as provide electricity. Those promises are yet to be honoured, residents said.
The candidates would come to them five or six times per day during the election campaign, but following the election about seven months ago, the winning candidates had not returned to the province to listen to the needs and problems of the people, said Wakil Ahmad, 30, a resident of Khanabad district.
He campaigned for Shaista Baz Nasiri, who said as a candidate that, if elected, she would construct clinics and bring electricity to the people.
But now that she has a seat in parliament, he said, she does not listen to the needs of the people. “When I call her, she says ‘I don’t know you’,” said Ahmad.
Nasiri, the parliamentarian, says that her only wish was to serve the people and ensure law enforcement. But if the government violates the rules of law, she said, that struggle would be in vain.
She said she had shared the electricity problem of the Aqtash area with provincial officials and the Ministry of Water and Energy, but they had not taken any steps toward solving the problem.
“Whether I am the representative of the people or not, I would serve the people – and it is my wish to serve them in a legal way,” she said.
Another resident of Kunduz province, Abdul Qayum, said that people of his district voted for Fatima Aziz because she promised to encourage government departments and organisations to support athletics.
But, he said, she forgot about athletes after reaching parliament.
Aziz says that she tried to solve the problems of the people by approaching government departments, but that no officials would listen to her.
“The government is controlled by a mafia network that does not listen to any lawmakers or people, but only operate according to their own choice,” she added.
“When I share the problems of the people with officials, they make promises but do not work for the people,” she said.
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