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Concerned at growing insecurity, MPs demand timely polls

Concerned at growing insecurity, MPs demand timely polls

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On
Jul 16, 2018 - 22:07

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon or lower house of the parliament on Monday expressed concern over increasing insecurity in the country and confrontation between the government and political parties.

Wolesi Jirga speaker  Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi told today’s session  that the security situation was worsening provinces as a hundred of Afghan forces were killed in Kunduz province alone and a security base in the same province fell to militants without resistance during the last one week.

Without giving details, he said the security base in Kunduz went into the hands of militants ‘under a deal’ and all Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers of the base including their commander were killed by the rebels.

Pointing to Afghan forces casualties in Ghazni, Faryab, Badakhshan and some other provinces, he said: “Continuation of this situation would lead to a disaster.”

Ibrahimi said security officials should be summoned to the house to provide information about the ongoing situation in the country and respond to lawmakers’ questions.

A number of lawmakers echoed Ibrahimi’s remarks and expressed concern about the hike in Afghan forces casualties and called for security bosses to be called to the lower house.

Political parties

A day earlier, leaders and representatives of a number of political parties  including Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon Gulbuddin, Jamiat-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistaninfo-icon, Wahadat-i-Islami Afghanistan and Junbish-i-Milli and others termed the voter registration as inappropriate, fraudulent and demanded fresh registration of voters using the biometric system.

The political parties stressed over transparency in upcoming polls by changing the current Single-Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) system to Multi-Dimensional Representation (MDR).

They had warned: “If the government, the IECinfo-icon and the international community do not accept our demands and continue with their defective process, we consider it a crisis for Afghanistan.”

The Wolesi Jirga speaker termed differences among government leaders and with political parties as a matter of concern.

He said: “A joint meeting needs to be organized with all political parties to discuss security and the upcoming elections. The government’s confrontation with political parties would not help anything but rather create more problems.”

Ibrahimi called the continuation of jobs of current lawmakers against the law.

The work term of the current lawmakers has ended in 2016 while one-thirds of the Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon or upper house seats are empty.

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 Presidential order.

Ibarhimi said elections were a public demand and the government should pave the ground for fair and transparent Wolesi Jirga and district council elections. He stressed the elections should be held on schedule (October 20.)

Lawmakers provided different views about the political parties’ demands and the president’s Sunday statement.

Shekiba Hashemi, a lawmaker from Kandahar province, about the president’s Sunday speech said: “It is not right that political parties may have no votes, the president himself was elected with the help of political parties votes, if political parties have no place among people then why the government paved the ground for the return of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.”

However, Nadir Khan Katawazi, a lawmaker form Paktia province, said, “These political parties are not national and most of them support illegal armed groups, they can’t be called parties, they do not have the right to boycott elections.”

A day earlier, president Ghani in response to the political parties demands, said: “Who are these politicians who make decisions on behalf of Afghanistan people, who chose them, what percentage votes have they obtained, when were they elected, I came to power based on the Afghans’ votes. What they did who had power in Afghanistan for four decades.”

mds/ma

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