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Wolesi Jirga summons defence minister for next week

Wolesi Jirga summons defence minister for next week

Jan 04, 2017 - 15:50

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon on Wednesday decided to summon the defense minister next week, with some lawmakers slamming the move as double standards by the lower house.

Second Deputy SpeakerNiamatullah Ghafari, chairing today’s session, said the decision to summon Lt. Gen. Abdullah Habibi had been taken by leaders of lower house commissions.

However, he said he could not explain the reason for summoning the minister because the complaint form was with the Wolesi Jirga speaker, who was absent today.

Under Article 92 of the constitution, the lower house, on the proposal of 20 percent of members, will inquire a minister about certain issues. If the explanations given are not satisfactory, the house shall consider the issue of a no- confidence vote.

The no-confidence vote against a minister shall be explicit, direct, as well as based on convincing reasons. The vote shall be approved by the majority of members of the house, the article says.

Kamal Nasar Asuli, a lawmaker from Khost province, said: “Ministers should not be summoned jus for the heck of it. But some legislators have been doing so over the past two months to force ministersto givethem privileges.”

He suggested summons must be based on rules and the relevant forms filled out by lawmakers in one week’s time and then handed over to the administrative board of the house.

Gen. Nazifa Zaki, representing Kabul in the lower house, opined the defence minister should not be summoned in a situation where the enemy was trying to disrupt security.

Summoning ministers is the constitutional right of the Wolesi Jirga, but the right should not be misused, according to her. But Ghafarisaid there was no legal hitch in filling out the summon form and putting the issue on the house agenda.

On November 2, the lower house summoned 16 ministers and impeached the ministers of foreign affairs, labour, public works, educationinfo-icon, transport, communication and higher education in absentia.

In protest against the lower house decision, the Cabinet referred the issue to the Supreme Court and said the unseated ministers would continue to be on job until the apex court hands down its ruling.



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