Govt trying to extend its tenure: MPs
KABUL (PAN): Some lower house members on Monday claimed the government, seeking to prolong its stay in power, was planning to arrange a consultative jirga planned in the guise of discussing a bilateral security agreement with the US.
But the Presidential Palace rejected as baseless rumours that the government was trying to prolong its stay in power. A statement from the Karzai’s office said the president had always insisted on holding next presidential elections as scheduled.
Wolesi Jirga member from Faryab province, Naqibullah Fayeq, said only two subjects -- national consensus and a consultative jirga -- were discussed at the Presidential Palace, with the rest of problems ignored.
He said the proposed jirga was aimed at bringing together some jihadi leaders, tribal elders and others in Kabul to propose changes to the constitution.
He claimed it had been planned that the jirga participants would voice their support for the government to sign the security agreement with the US and continue to stay in power by making changes to the constitution.
The government suspended talks with the US after the Taliban opened their office in Qatar last month.
Faiq told Pajhwok Afghan News after attending the assembly session that President Hamid Karzai had a meeting with political leaders and some public representatives a week back. Karzai had discussed with them calling into session a Loya Jirga, he said.
In this regard, the lawmaker claimed provincial governors and district chiefs had been directed to introduce individuals who speak in support of government at the assembly.
The government decided to conduct the jirga during the recess of the parliament, he said.
An MP from Daikundi, Nasrullah Sadiqizada Nili, said the government had discussed holding the tribal forum with officials of the Kabul Polytechnic University, where the jirga tent is located.
The government’s bid to hold the jirga according to its own will would be insult to the parliament, a violation of the constitution and kind of quasi-dictatorship, remarked a lawmaker from Kabul, Mohammad Mohaqiq.
Wolesi Jirga Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said he had told the president during Sunday’s meeting that conducting the jirga without consulting the parliament would be against the constitution.
But deputy presidential spokesman, Faiq Wahidi, rejected as baseless the concerns that the government wanted to extend its term because the president always insisted on timely elections. The president talked about convening a Loya Jirga on BSA, but gave no tentative dates, he added.
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