MPs remain divided on summoning ministers
KABUL (PAN): Wolesi Jirga members on Wednesday failed for a second time to settle their differences over the issue of summoning nearly a dozen ministers who spent less than half of development funds last year.
The lower house members had earlier voted to summon the 11 ministers, but later split over their own decision.
Ministries of defence, interior, commerce, economy, counter-narcotics, water and energy, education, urban development, mines, higher education and information have failed to use most of their funds meant for uplift activities.
On Monday, 74 of the 137 MPs present voted not to summon the ministers who did not hold the portfolios during last fiscal year.
On Wednesday, first deputy speaker Haji Zahir Qadir, who presided over the session, dismissed the previous decision as inaccurate.
"Under the rules of procedures, a decision taken by the house can be reversed with a majority vote of two-thirds," he said. Qadir said the committee of directors of house panels would discuss the issue in its next meeting.
In response to Qadir's remarks, a parliamentarian from Herat, Manawar Shah Bahaduri, claimed there had always been contradiction in decisions taken by Qadir and speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi.
Only 26 of the 125 lawmakers present voted on the issue. Irfanullah Irfan, a legislator from Kabul, said raising green or red cards was an insult to the national assembly.
Some MPs left the house as the impasse continued, with Qadir saying the issue would be debated in next session.
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