Stanikzai, Habibi to seek Wolesi Jirga trust vote tomorrow
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirga or lower house of parliament is all set to endorse or reject President Ashraf Ghani’s picks to head the Ministry of Defence and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) tomorrow (Monday), a lawmaker said on Sunday.
Earlier, the defence minister-designate and the spymaster nominee were introduced to the Wolesi Jirga for a vote of confidence.
Second Vice-President Sarwar Danish had introduced Lt. Gen. Abdullah Khan Habibi as defence minister-designate and Mohammad Masoom Stanikizai as NDS chief to the Wolesi Jirga.
“We are in a fragile political and security situation, with the Warsaw Summit due next month. The world wants a single address and unity of command in our security forces in return for cooperation with us,” Danish told MPs.
Niamatullah Ghafarzai, 2nd deputy speaker, said the two nominees would be summoned to the house tomorrow and ballot boxes would be put in place so that lawmakers could cast their vote as per decision of panel heads.
Abdullah Khan Habibi had served on different posts in the military over the past 15 years while Stanikzai served as acting defence minister for more than a year.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been headed by an acting minister for the past two and a half years. The NDS has also been spearheaded by an acting head after Rahmatullah Nabil resigned as spymaster in December, 2015.
A number of lawmakers have previously complained that one major cause of insecurity in the country was acting leadership of security organs.
At Sunday’s session, lawmakers also debated the presidential legislative decree on electoral reform rejected a couple of days back.
Juma Din Gyanwal, a lawmaker, said: “People and the lawmakers are worried that the government is divided 50/50 between the president and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Another lawmaker Sher Mohammad Akhundzada said: “It was feared lawmakers could be divided into two groups over election reforms and future elections to Wolesi Jirga would face huge challenges like the last presidential election where nobody accepted responsibility for the rigging and disorganized election.”
Some lawmakers expressed similar views regarding the presidential legislative degree and asked the commission concerned to give them more time so they could thoroughly study the laws.
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