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Absentee lawmakers to face action, warns speaker

Absentee lawmakers to face action, warns speaker

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Jan 04, 2020 - 16:49

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, or lower house, speaker on Saturday called the absence of lawmakers a matter of regret, saying the issue would be taken seriously -- warnings that have been sounded many times in the past.

The house was expected to discuss today an agreement between the Saudi Fund for Development and the Afghan government on loans for some development projects. But the lack of quorum hindered a discussion on the issue.

Speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani regretted the absence of members. He said he had directed the Wolesi Jirga secretary on Friday to make sure that all lawmakers remained present today when only 65 of the 248 public representatives were present.

He said that agreements on loans for road construction projects should be finalised before the approval of next year’s budget.

RamazanBashardost, a legislator from Kabul, asked the Administrative Board to take a decision on dealing with the absence of members; otherwise the quorum issue would linger on.

He said the lawmakers, who remain absent for 20 days in a row, should be exposed to the media under the rules of business. Those staying away for 44 days at a stretch would have their membership cancelled, the legislator explained.

Aryan Yun, a lawmaker from Nangarhar province, criticisedthe absenteemembers. He also asked Administrative Board to enforce the law equally to all members.

Many members of the house held similar views and asked for the enforcement of rules.Rahmani ordered the house secretary to prepare a list of absentees before the enforcement of the rules.

In October 2019, the speaker had lashed out at the prolonged absence of some lawmakers,warning that such members would be exposed to the media.

mds/mud

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