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Wolesi Jirga again fails to resolve speaker row

Wolesi Jirga again fails to resolve speaker row

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May 23, 2019 - 18:40

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon or lower house on Thursday again failed to resolve the dispute over the speaker election for a fifth day.

On May 16, lawmakers Mir Rahman Rahmani, Mirwais Yasini, Kamal Naser Osuli and Omar Nasir contested for the speaker post.

However, none could bag enough votes to become speaker of the house and the ballot went to a second round, which was deferred to Sunday.

Mir Rahman and Osuli, who received the highest numbers of votes on Thursday, were in the run for the slot in the second round of voting.

Atta Mohammad Dehqanpor, provisional speaker, said there were 247 lawmakers present in the house and a candidate was required to collect 124 votes to win the seat.

In the second round, Rahmani bagged 123 votes --- one vote short of the threshold --- and Osuli collected 55 votes. However, Dehqanpur declared Rahmani as winner, triggering a dispute among lawmakers.

After two days of the tussle, the lower house on Wednesday assigned a 27-member delegation, including 10 members of an earlier delegation, to resolve the dispute.

Ghulam Hussain Naseri, a member of the delegation, on Wednesday said that 11 members of the team, who sought a decision on the matter by the lower house, were removed while 16 others made their decision about the issue.

Naseri said their assessment showed all lawmakers who were present on Thursday had used their votes on the election day for the two candidates.

However, he said another review of the issue showed Rahmani had received a total of 124 votes including the one vote that was declared invalid while Osuli received 55 votes on the voting day.

The delegation said 54 votes on the speaker election day were declared invalid, 13 blank and a totally of 246 votes were polled by 247 lawmakers present.

Naseri said a vote previously counted as invalid was later counted valid for Rahmani considering the vote signing method was used in the past. By this calculation, Rahmani won majority of votes from lawmakers, he said.

The delegation on Wednesday said it would decide about the one vote previously counted as invalid today, Thursday.

However, a number of lawmakers told reporters today afternoon that today’s meeting also ended without any result.

Sayed Azim Kabarzani, a lawmaker from Herat province, told today’s Wolesi Jirga session, “This problem should be solved, people are in great trouble in the country but we are engaged in disputes here.”

Abdul Qayum Sajjadi, a lawmaker from Ghazni province, said he was tasked with chairing today’s session by some lawmakers, but others did not let him to chair the meeting.

Talking to media, he said, “A number of representatives stressed that I should chair the meeting, when I start presenting suggestions of the two sides, they did not allow me to speak, it is a shame, we as healers of people’s wounds are giving them more pains.”

Without giving details, he said a number of lawmakers took hostage the lower house and no representatives cared about the sanctity of the parliament during their discussions.

Kamal Naser Osuli, a lawmaker from Khost province and candidate for the speaker position, said that today’s session also concluded without any positive result.

“The best way for solution of this problem is law and internal duty regulations of the lower house, if the decisions of the house are based on legal grounds we accept them,” he said.

However, Ziauddin Zia, a lawmaker from Samangan province said, a number of the house members on Wednesday created chaos in the house for what he called the decision of the delegation was not in their favor.

Zia said Rahmani had received 50 percent plus one vote and there was no need for a third round of voting.

mds/ma

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