MPs cannot amend law on poll panels: Qazi
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution and Lawyers Association said on Monday the Wolesi Jirga was in in last year of its legislative term and could not amend the law on the structure, duties and powers of the poll panels.
On the other hand, lawmakers reiterated based on Article 109 of the Constitution, they were allowed to bring changes because it was not part of the electoral law. The Judicial Committee of the Wolesi Jirga last week proposed 10 amendments to the law.
Sarwar Osmani, member of the committee, told Pajhwok Afghan News based on the proposal, the term of members of the electoral commissions would be reduced to four years from the current six, and the commissioners would have to get a vote of confidence from parliament.
Gul Rahman Qazi, head of Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution, said under Article 109, the lawmakers were not allowed to bring any amendments in the last year of their legislative term.
But Wolesi Jirga Deputy Speaker Eng. Syed Akram said the legislative year had not ended because the parliament started work after several months of delay.
On the other hand, Qazi rejected the MPs’ claims as baseless. He said Article 109 did not mention anything about the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) also, but it was formed because there was a need for it.
“Basically both IEC and IECC laws are also part of the electoral law and based on the Constitution, lawmakers are not allowed to amend it now,” Qazi said, suggesting the dispute between the lower house and poll panels should be resolved legally.
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