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Parliament reconvenes after 45-day winter recess

Parliament reconvenes after 45-day winter recess

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Mar 07, 2018 - 16:35

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): After a 45-day winter break, President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesdayopened the first session of parliament, which entered its eighth constitutional year.

The term of sitting Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon lawmakers expired in 2016, with one-third of Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon (Senate) seats already vacant.

Under Article 107 of the Constitution, the National Assembly shall hold two regular sessions annually. The term of both regular sessions shall be nine months every year, and when needed, the assembly shall extend its term.

Extraordinary sessions during recess shall be convened by a presidential order.The first session of the eighth constitutional year of parliament was inaugurated by Ghani amid tight security.Besides legislators, senior government officials also attended the session.

Article 83 states: “The constitutionally-mandated tenure of the house shall terminate after the disclosure of election results on the 1st of Saratan (22 June) and the new parliament shall commence work.”

Based on this article, Wolesi Jirga elections were due in May 2016, but were delayed. The president has announced the lower house members will continue their work till fresh elections are held.

The Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) has announced Wolesi Jirga and district council elections will be conducted on July 7. But a month earlier, the panel said the election might be delayed once again. It added the voter list would be completed until August 3.

The post-winter break session of Wolesi Jirga starts at a time when the upper house is short of 34 members due to delayed district council elections.

Article 84 says: “Members of the Meshrano Jirga  shall be appointed from amongst each provincial council members, one individual shall be elected by the respective council for a four year term; from amongst district councils of each province, one individual, elected by the respective councils, for a three year term.

“The remaining one third of the members shall be appointed by the President, for a five year term, from amongst experts and experienced personalities, including two members from amongst the impaired and handicapped, as well as two from nomads.”

District council electionshave not been conducted in the past. As such, district representatives were also appointed from provincial councils by former president Hamid Karzai.

But the national unity government decided that 34 district council members of the Meshrano Jirga would be appointed after district council polls.

mds/mud

 

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