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MPs stress respect for democratic values

MPs stress respect for democratic values

Sep 19, 2011 - 20:20

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Members of Parliament on Monday called for institutionlising democracy in Afghanistaninfo-icon and conscientising the people about the system of governance.

The call came as the worldinfo-icon marked International Day of Democracy to raise public awareness and arranged activities, highlighting the importance of a democratic dispensation.

Addressing an event marking the day in Kabul, Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the lower house was playing an effective role in encouraging the government to strengthen democracy.

If all government organs played their role in raising public awareness, the Afghans would be able to elect a pro-people and inclusive government, the speaker said.

"We insist on ensuring respect for fundamental freedoms, democracy and human rights," Ibrahimi told the gathering.

Speaking on the occasion, parliamentarian Naheed Ahmadi Farid said democracy was introduced in the country a decade back, as a result of the 2001 Bonn Conference.

However, the legislator added, respect for core democratic values and seriousness about implementation of the system in letter and spirit and was yet to be seen among government officials.

"We are facing problems today because our government institutions were ill-prepared for implementing the system," the parliamentarian believed.

As a result, tensions persist among the government organs over the outcome of last year's election.

The issue erupted when the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) announced poll results, which were questioned by the Attorney General's Office. Later, a special poll tribunal declared successful 62 candidates, who were previously among losers.

As the dispute over special court verdict lingered on, President Hamid Karzai granted authorised IEC to resolve the issue. Last month, the commission, replaced nine sitting MPs with those who had initially been declared as unsuccessful.

Naheed said democratic institutions and civil societyinfo-icon organisations must promote awareness among the people about democracy and the constitution.

Another member of Wolesi Jirga, Fauzia Kofi, also urged strengthening democracy and awareness among the masses. National dialogue was a good way of boosting democracy, she suggested. "Separation of powers is a must to guarantee democracy and Afghan National Assembly must be considered as an independent institution," she continued.



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