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Civil society wants provincial councils to have more say

Civil society wants provincial councils to have more say

Jan 31, 2015 - 12:27

KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): A number of civil societyinfo-icon organisations in southeastern Khost province on Saturday urged the president to reject the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon decision barring provincial council members from supervising and evaluating the performance of local departments.

If President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani approved the Wolesi Jirga decision to curtail powers of the provincial councils, corruption would be encouraged at the local level, they warned. At least 17 provincial councils (PCs) have closed their offices for seven days in protest.

Haji Jamal, a member of the social society network, told Pajhwok Afghan News that provincial councils reserved the right to have a check on local departments. He argued if that right was wrested, there would be no need at all for provincial councils.

Criticizing the Wolesi Jirga’s decision in strongest term, Jamal said the lower house was needed to revisit its decision in larger national interests.

Haji Mohammad Ghafoor Mahidi, another activist, said that the Wolesi Jirga decision would leave a far-reaching impact on the overall performance of local departments. “President Ghani should further empower the provincial councils instead of curtailing their powers. The provincial councils have a greater role in curbing corruption,” he remarked.

Naseer Ahmad Rokhan, a political analyst, also demanded the president empower the provincial council to counter graft. He was of the opinion that the power of oversight and evaluation should not be taken from the councils.

Some days back, the lower house of parliament decided that provincial councils did not reserve the right to supervise or evaluate the performance of local departments.


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