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Lawmakers scuffle over disputed speaker election

Lawmakers scuffle over disputed speaker election

Jun 19, 2019 - 16:20

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Scuffles broke out in Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon or lower house of parliament between lawmakers as part of an ongoing dispute over the speaker position and led to suspension of the house live broadcast.

On May 16, the election for the speaker slot became controversial after one vote polled for Mir Rahman Rahmani was declared invalid.

Rahmani had bagged 123 votes --- one vote short of the required threshold      against his opponent Kamal Nasir Usoli who collected more than 50 votes.

The lawmakers have since been unable to reach an agreed roadmap regarding the one controversial vote which Rahmani’s supporters termed valid.

However, the Wolesi Jirga on Tuesday agreed to conduct a secret ballot for today (Wednesday) to end the deadlock over the speaker position.

Yesterday Kamal Usoli stressed the voting should be held secretly and in the meantime if any lawmaker wished to vote openly, he/she could do that. His remarks also went unnoticed and some lawmakers left the house.

At today’s session, the conflict continued and the vote did not take place.

Abdul Qader Qalatwal, a lawmaker from southern Zabul province, who has been appointed as executive director for the session, said those who wanted to show his/her vote for someone would be declare as invalid.

Amanullah Gozar, a lawmaker from capital Kabul, said that secret ballot and other suggestions were all accepted but the issue remained unsolved.

“If anybody can do anything he is free to do,” he threatened, saying they would sit Rahamin on the speaker seat.

But Hamayoon Shahzadah, another lawmaker, said force should not be sued and if someone tried to use force he would be responsible for its consequences.

Meanwhile, Kamal Nasir Usoli said without conducting a ballot, no one could take the speaker seat.

MPs Asna and Gozar tried to enter Rahmani to the Wolesi Jirga hall and sit him on the chairman seat, but Sayed Ahmad, a lawmaker from Kandahar province, and some other lawmakers took the speaker’s table and threw it into the middle of the hall and then a physical and verbal clash broke out.




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