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Senators lash out at absent colleagues

Senators lash out at absent colleagues

Mar 18, 2014 - 16:50

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): As a majority of senators were found absent from the Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon session on Tuesday, colleagues said some of the absentees were busy campaigning for the April elections.

In a 102-member upper house, only 24 members were present today. As a result, the house could not conduct any business due to lack of quorum.

Fifty sitting senators are contesting provincial council elections and many have been campaigning for presidential candidates.

A lawmaker from southeastern Paktia province, Fauzia Sadat, told the session that a majority of house members had been absent since the house returned from the winter break.

She said the main reason behind their absence was electioneering, saying the absenteeism had left the house struggling with the issue of quorum.

“We cannot debate laws and decide on other important subjects because of the incomplete quorum,” she said, criticising her absent colleagues for receiving huge salaries and skipping sessions.

Another female lawmaker, Balqis Roshan, who represents Farah province, remarked: “It’s a great shame that MPs receive huge salaries, but they are not appearing and instead busy campaigning.”

Her colleague from southern Ghazni province, Mohammad Amin Ahmadi, asked the Administrative Board to put pressure on absent MPs to appear in the house.

Second deputy speaker, Rafiullah Gul Afghan, who presided over the session, said a number of senators had travelled to provinces as part of their election campaign.

He asked the absent lawmakers to be available in the house proceedings in order to enable the administrative board to take forward the affairs in line with the agenda.

The upper house requires the presence of at least 52 members to take a decision.




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