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‘Strongmen hurdle to implementing Constitution’

‘Strongmen hurdle to implementing Constitution’

Jan 12, 2016 - 23:48

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Speakers at a gathering celebrating the country’s Constitution in Kabul on Tuesday said a handful of powerful individuals and groups had blocked progress in implementation of the supreme law.

The current Constitution was approved by the consensus in January 2004 after the 2003 Loya Jirgainfo-icon and on Jan. 4, 2004 then president Hamid Karzai endorsed the Constitution and made it official.

As part of the week-long celebrations of the Constitution, dozens of tribal elders and government officials attended a gathering titled “Participation of people and tribes in implementation of the Constitution“ at the Ministry of Border Affairs.

Speaking on the occasion, deputy border affairs minister Abdul Ghafoor Lewal said groups and individuals who considered themselves above the law were challenging the government’s writ.  He said such groups had created problems in the implementation of the Constitution and had brought into question the system’s legitimacy.

Lewal did not elaborate on the issue but urged the tribal elders to make efforts at implementing the Constitution. “You are the people who understand the importance of the Constitution better than others. You have a special place among your communities, our appeal is help the people understand well the importance of implementation of the supreme law,” said Lewal.

Ahmad Zia Frotan, chief public relations officer at the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution, told the gathering that the government had failed to implement the Constitution and facilitate its implementation.

He mentioned the presence of powerful individuals and a lack of knowledge about the constitution among the general masses as main hurdles before implementation of the constitution. He said the government and people had violated dozens of constitutional provisions so far.

As an example, he said district council members were part of the Loya Jirga, but their elections had long been delayed by the government. “The government is guilty of not implementing the Constitution, it enforces law on the poor, but the powerful are immune from prosecution.”

He said the general masses were more loyal to the Constitution than government functionaries whose role was essential in collective implementation of the Constitution.


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