Wolesi Jirga fails to meet for lack of quorum
KABUL (PAN): The Wolesi Jirga’s Administrative Board alleged on Saturday postponed the lower house session in violation of the relevant rules, several lawmakers alleged. But other legislators blamed the delay on lack of quorum.
As part of the agenda for today’s session, MPs were to debate the government-proposed foreign and domestic policy guidelines. Additionally, the High Peace Council had to present a report on its activities.
Qazi Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, head of the legislative panel, accused the Administrative Board of what he called a willful postponement of the session. Setting the agenda or scrapping the session was a prerogative of the committee of commission heads, he explained.
Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, Hanafi referred to Article 16 of the house rules, which states: “Firming up the agenda for the Wolesi Jirga session and giving timeframes for commissions’ tasks is the authority of the committee of commission chiefs.”
In order to enable members to evaluate the High Peace Council’s performance, he believed, the session should have taken place. The report that was to be unveiled a week back could not be presented due to the council chief’s foreign visit.
Fawzia Kofi, chairperson of the women affairs commission, said: “We should have held the session for a discussion on the foreign and domestic policy principles.” Sent to the house by the government four months ago, the guidelines could not be debated so far, she lamented.
Some members of the board prioritised foreign junkets and attached little importance to assembly meetings, regretted Kofi, who alleged today’s session was set back due to the so-called foreign trips and inefficiency of some board members.
A public representative from southern Kandahar province, Abdul Rahim Ayubi, also hit out at the board for deferring the session. “Some members of the board have been elected by toss and others chosen arbitrarily.”
On the other hand, an MP from Herat linked the postponement to lack of quorum. Mohammad Saleh Saljooqi said some lawmakers were currently accompanying the speaker on a foreign trip and others were in Saudi Arabia to perform Haj.
At least 125 of 249 members have to be present to complete the quorum for a session.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.