Wolesi Jirga adds new provision to election law
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirga on Saturday voted to add a new provision to the election law, introducing bachelor's degree requirement for aspirant lawmakers or they should have served at least once in Parliament.
The subject was tabled at the lower house for a decision by the Legislative Commission.
Qazi Nazir Ahmad Nanafi, the commission head, told the house that a number of lawmakers had demanded the addition of the proposed provision to the election law’s Article 14.
He said these lawmakers were of the view that everyone desiring to become a member of parliament should hold a bachelor decree or should have at least once served as member of the national assembly.
Article 14 of the Election Law says a person who runs for or is appointed as a member of the National Assembly, shall be an Afghan citizen or shall have obtained the citizenship of Afghanistan at least 10 years before the day of candidacy.
The candidate should not have been convicted of crimes against humanity and felony or deprived of civil rights by court. He/she should be 25 years old on the day of candidacy.
But a lawmaker from Kabul Mohammad Duad Kalkani said the Constitution had already set conditions for aspirant lawmakers and any addition of new conditions for candidates would be against the Constitution.
However, lawmaker Mohammad Sarwar Usmani from western Farah province said the proposed provision was not in violation of the Constitution because the lower house as the highest authority to make laws could set conditions for parliamentary candidates in accordance with the relevant law.
“Specialists are sitting in parliaments of Pakistan and Iran. We should have at least bachelor degree holders,” Usmani said, arguing if MPs were not graduates, they could not come up with proper legislation.
Of 127 lawmakers present, 92 votes to add the provision to the election law’s article 14.
The approval comes a day before the lower house’s ongoing legislative term enters its fifth and last year. Under Article 109 of the Constitution, the national assembly cannot propose amendments to the election law during its final year.
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