Mode of MPs selection for conference opposed
KABUL (PAN): Wolesi Jirga members on Thursday said the selection of lawmakers for participation in the second Bonn Conference through the toss was against the Constitution and undermined the Parliament.
On Wednesday, the lower house decided that four MPs would take part in the upcoming conference, due on December 5. Some members suggested the participants be selected through the toss.
The conference is aimed at discussing regional cooperation, security transition from foreign troops to Afghan forces, Afghanistan's long-term relationship with the international community and the peace process.
"International issues belong to our commission, but no one took up the issue with us and parliamentarians were selected through the toss," Mohammad Noor Akbari, head of the house's International Relations Commission, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
This mode of selecting MPs for such significant events would undermine the role of Parliament, he said, adding if representatives were chosen in this way, then the commission should be dissolved.
The Wolesi Jirga was supposed to pick for the conference parliamentarians with expertise in international relations, Nasima Niazai, a public representative from southern Helmand province, said.
"Yesterday, the German embassy issued visas to two Afghan MPs and urged them to support it at the conference," the legislator said, without elaborating on what kind of support the embassy sought. By doing so, the embassy was trying for a parallel set-up in Afghanistan, she alleged.
Selection of representatives on a throw of the dice had no precedent in parliamentary history, remarked Shukriya Barakzai.
However, Wolesi Jirga Secretary Abdul Qadir Qalatwal said there was no other way to select MPs. "The 249 parliamentarians have only four seats at the conference and we had no other option to select representatives of Parliament."
Shah Gul Rezaee from Ghazni, Parvin Durrani, the representative of nomadic Kuchis, Shaista Baz Nasiri from Kunduz and Inayatullah Babar Farahmand from Faryab would take part in the conference, Qalatwal concluded.
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