Senate decides against administrative board election

KABUL (Pajhwok): Returning from a 45-day winter break, the Meshrano Jirga or upper house of parliament on Monday decided not to hold the house administrative board’s elections for next legislative session.
But a parliamentary group warned the house management would be disrupted if the board elections did not take place in-time.
The Meshrano Jirga on January 17 decided not to conduct the administrative board elections until two-thirds of new members of the upper house were introduced.
However, some senators, reacting to the decision, walked out of the house in protest before the voting on the matter began.
The protesting senators said the decision was against Article 87th of the Constitution.
The 87th article says: “Each of the two houses of parliament, at the commencement of their work period, shall elect one member as president for the term of the legislature, and two members as first and second deputies and two members as secretary and assistant secretary for a period of one year.”
One and a half months back, the parliamentary group supporting the legislation complained about the delayed vote and shared the issue with government leaders, the Supreme Court and the Independent Election Commission (IEC).
However, Abdullah Qarlaq, Meshrano Jirga secretary, told Pajhwok Afghan News that there was no need for the administrative board election as the parliamentary and district council elections were only six months away.
The IEC has previously announced that the Wolesi Jirga and district council elections would be held on October 15, 2016.
Qarlaq said a number of Meshrano Jirga members had suggested not conducting the board elections.
“Most of the 42 senators who were present on January 17 voted in favour of continuation of the current administrative board. It is also election when a majority of Meshrano Jirga members vote for a decision,” he said.
He said the parliament would begin its legislative session for next year on March 6.
According to Article 107 of the constitution, the parliament 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.
However, Senator Haseebullah Kalimzai, who represents Maidan central MaidAN Wardak province in Meshrano Jirga, said: “We do not allow anyone to occupy seats on the administrative board and violate the Article 87th of the Constitution.”
“If the administrative board elections are not held in-time, the management of the house would be disrupted and we would see more anarchy for which the president would be responsible,” he said.
“The occupation of parliament seats would lead to flexing of muscles in the house, we know some senators involved in corruption fear their crimes would be exposed if they lost their positions,” he added.
He claimed they had evidence that some senators had pressed and cut deals with others to vote for the continuation of current administration board.
Kalimzai also lashed out at the president for his silence over the situation and said the president was the main cause of current problems.

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