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Editorial: Rejection of reforms

The Wolesi Jirga or Lower House of the parliament has come under severe criticism after it rejected the presidential decree for the second time and prevented the government from reforming the ailing and corrupt Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC). The decree was crucial to cure the ailing electoral bodies. Rejection of the decree on the composition, authorities and duties of the IEC and IECC has sparked criticism. Not only analysts, media and general people but the senators have also slammed the MPs. It is believed that the members of the Wolesi Jirga are using delaying tactics to delay the parliamentary and district councils’ elections while hampering the reforms process. They see more benefits in delayed elections than the reforms because they want to enjoy the luxurious life as legislators.

Rejection of the president’s decree is actually rejection of reforms. This step has ruined the already spoiled image of the Wolesi Jirga members because they had always been accused of corruption and nepotism—allegations that could be proved easily if investigated. Afghan people have lost faith in politicians. Public trust in the parliament has dropped manifold in the past three years. However, members of the Lower House are not realizing that how important is public trust for survival of democracy. Public trust is vital element for the parliament to promote democratic values.

Unfortunately, in Afghanistan people never remained the center of the government decisions are taken by a few and clamped on many. Tribalism and warlordism are serving as a core of the system. The result is diminishing public support for the institutes and sympathies for the insurgent groups. Meshrano Jirga or the senate has been well-aware of it that’s why the senators have expressed concerns over the Wolesi Jirga’s decision and asked the government for early parliamentary and district council elections.

To bring reforms, the National Unity Government leaders had to order the relevant bodies to hold the parliamentary elections as soon as possible because the MPs have no intention to approve the decree on reforms. Pinning hopes on the Wolesi Jirga is a wild-goose chase. According to the Constitution, continuation of work by the MPs is illegal and has no legitimacy. If the government continued to postpone the parliamentary polls further, the leaders would be committing a crime for supporting extra-constitutional activities. The sooner the elections are hold is better because it would pave way for more comprehensive electoral reforms. There is no good in backing the Wolesi Jirga which has completed its tenure and failed to serve public and satisfy the inquisitive minds.

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