Absenteeism hinders Senate approval of bills
KABUL (PAN): Some Meshrano Jirga members on Tuesday said most colleagues had gone to their respective provinces for electioneering ahead of the April 5 provincial council polls, causing quorum problems and delaying approval of essential legislative measures.
A member from southeastern Khost province, Arifullah Pashtun, said only 40 of the 102 member upper house members were present at today’s sitting. He added most members had reached their provinces to register as provincial council candidates.
“They have gone for registration, but are engaged in electioneering,” said Pashtun, who lamented that the Senate was unable to discuss the agenda on Tuesday and last Thursday due to incomplete quorum.
His colleague from central Daikundi province, Najiba Hussaini, also complained the quorum had persistently been incomplete over the past many days. She believed electioneering should not commence ahead of the scheduled time.
She suggested a fine of 500 afghanis a day should be deducted from salaries of the lawmakers failing to attend meetings of house panels. The legislator said several important laws and bills needed to be debated and approved.
First Deputy Chairman Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, who chaired the session, confirmed many members were busy campaigning for themselves. “We have phoned them to come and complete the quorum to approve important bills.”
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