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No debate as amendments to law on poll panels tabled

No debate as amendments to law on poll panels tabled

Mar 30, 2015 - 17:00

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok):  The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon on Monday could not debate draft amendments to the law on composition, duties and powers of the two electoral commissions due to incomplete quorum.

Mohammad Obda, who heads the lower house’s panel on justice and judiciary, tabled the bill and said the joint commission had discussed the package of six amendments to the law and had difference of opinion on three revisions.

Under the law’s clause 8th and 22nd, the president is recommended 27 persons to choose nine of them as commissioners on the Independent Election Commission and 15 persons to select five of them as members of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission.

But Obda said the draft amendments suggested these appointments be made in agreement between the president and the chief executive officer. He said some members of the joint commission had suggested the inclusion of another two clauses to the law, but others opposed their suggestion.

He said one of the amendments authorised members of the two commissions to remove the leadership, deputies and secretaries if they worked against the rules.

But there was no discussion on the amendments as some lawmakers said the parliament was in its last legislative year and could not amend the law on duties, powers and composition of the election bodies.

They said the law on duties, powers and composition of the electoral bodies was part of the electoral law and the house should not discuss or make a decision in this regard.

The Article 109 of the Constitution says “proposals for amending elections law shall not be included in the work agenda of the National Assembly during the last year of the legislative term.”

But Obda said the house could debate the law because it had been framed in compliance with the Article 56 of the Constitution.

However, first deputy speaker, Haji Zahir Qadir, who presided over the session, said the house could not take a decision due to incomplete quorum. He also suggested the joint commission should once again discuss the proposed amendments.

The acting head of the Independent Commission for overseeing the implementation of the Constitution, Gul Rahman Qazi, told Pajhwok Afghan News the assembly could not debate or amend the law on the two commissions because it was serving the last year of the legislative term.

He said the law was part of the electoral law and could not be decided upon by the parliament.



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