Parliamentary team fails to resolve rifts over presidential decree
KABUL (Pajhwok) The joint delegation parliamentary panel tasked with developing a consensus on the president’s legislative decree on election reform failed on Monday to resolve differences between the two houses.
The decree would be kept pending if no consensus is evolved tomorrow (Wednesday, when lawmakers are scheduled to rise for their summer recess.
Election reforms are a key point of the unity government agreement between then presidential runners Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah. The president had issued two legislative decrees in this regard, but the Wolesi Jirga rejected them both.
The first decree was thrown out by the Meshrano Jirga too, but the upper house approved the second decree last month. Due to differences over approval of the decree by the Senate, the issue was referred to a joint parliamentary team.
Article 100 of the Constitution says: “If one house rejects decisions of the other, a joint commission comprised of an equal number of members from each shall be formed to resolve the differences. The decision of the commission, after endorsement by the president, shall be enforced.”
“If the joint commission does not solve the differences, the decision shall be considered rejected. In such a situation, the House of People shall pass it with two-thirds majority in its next session. This decision, without submission to the House of Elders, shall be promulgated once endorsed by the president,” the article adds.
Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said the joint team could not reach any agreement on the fate of the presidential decree. In tomorrow’s special session, the upper house will decide whether to delay a decision on the decree until the end of the summer holidays or let the joint panel work on the issue.
According to Muslimyar, the president is expected to hold a meeting with legislators tonight in a last-ditch effort to break the logjam on the important issue..
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