MPs have failed to deliver: Balkh residents
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Residents of northern Balkh province say their representatives in parliament have been preoccupied with their personal activities, evincing no interest in resolving problems of their constituents.
Residents of Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, and some districts told Pajhwok Afghan News they rued casting their votes in last year's parliamentary election and would not exercise their franchise right in the next polls.
Wahidullah, a resident of Balkh district and a teacher at the Salarzai School, said he had not seen any MP talking about the hardships facing the district over the past six months.
"We cast our votes, defying threats from the militants. We simply want the MPs to work for us because it is our right," he said, accusing some parliamentarians from Balkh of promoting their own interests.
Without naming anyone, the teacher said he knew some lawmakers who had not returned to the province since their election.
Ahmad Lodin, a student from Mazar at the Balkh University, said most residents were unaware of the importance of elections. Similarly, he continued, public representatives were elected on ethnic and linguistic grounds.
"It is obvious that MPs thus elected will work only for the tribes that have voted for them and won't consider problems of others communities," he remarked, regretting the election of such individuals.
"A small number of people may have voted honestly in last year's election, as most of people were deceived by politicians, who invited them to lavish dinners, offered them money and other things," he said.
Mazar-based political analyst Wakeel Matin told Pajhwok Afghan News the people who made it to parliament through rigging and fraud had been making efforts for their own safety.
"Lawmakers have so far been unable to get rid of the special election tribunal. As long as the political crisis persists, MPs cannot concentrate on public welfare activities," he believed.
He said that fraud-tainted MPs feared if the special election court's verdict was implemented, they would be disqualified.
On June 23, the five-judge special tribune disqualified 62 of the 249 parliamentarians on charges of fraud and irregularities during the Sept. 18 election. But the decision was not endorsed by the Independent Election Commission, which challenged the verdict in a primary court.
A lawmaker from Balkh province, Maulvi Abdul Rahman Rahmani, blamed the three state pillars -- the judiciary, the legislature and the executive -- for their failure to serve their constituents. He said differences surfaced among the three institutions soon after the elections.
"I admit that we have been unable to serve our people the way we should. We are impeded by numerous challenges," he said, without elaborating. Some members held out promises during the election campaign, but could not translate them into action, he acknowledged.
The legislator said it was the government's job to initiate development projects and MPs were responsible for monitoring such schemes.
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