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Parliamentary polls: Wolesi Jirga asks govt for schedule

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Stressing on timely parliamentary poll, the Wolesi Jirga (WJ) on Monday asked the government for timetable about holding election and policy guideline.

While terming the delay in the election a threat to legitimacy of the system, the lawmakers said the parliamentary polls should be held on time.

Abdul Satar Khawasi, an MP from Parwan, criticized the electoral reforms commission while saying the commission still to kick-start work. “Therefore, the government must be asked to tell when the parliamentary elections will take place,” he added.

Khawasi termed the delay a plot hatched by the foreigners, adding that formation of the electoral reforms commission was part of the conspiracy. He asked the speaker to approach the government for timetable as the commission has not kicked off work.

Fakori Behishti, an MP from Bamian, proposed that a parliamentary committee should be formed to assess the government’s progress in this regard as well as fight against corruption.

Ghulam Farooq Majroh termed the delay is against the law. He said the elections should take place on due time based on the constitution. “If elections were not held on time, legitimacy of the Wolesi Jirga will be questioned and the government will not accept decisions of the parliament,” he quipped.

Replying to a question regarding delay in the parliamentary election, he said that inability of the government to form the electoral reforms commission and overcome insecurity were the main factors behind the expected delay.

The legislators also asked the government to send its policy guidelines to the WJ and issue the electronic national identity cards.

Majroh said that insecurity had increased, several industries were closed and capital flight witnessed surge because the government has no policy guideline. “Therefore, the government must draft the guideline and send it to the parliament for approval,” he said.

Khalil Ahmad Shaheedzada said the issuance of the electronic ID cards was postponed, but employees of the relevant department are receiving salaries and huge funds were spent.

Speaker of the WJ, Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, asked the government to kick-start its preparations for holding parliamentary polls on time. He also urged the government to send the policy guideline for approval to the WJ.

It is said that the former chief of the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan, Jandad Speenghar, might be selected to head the Electoral Reforms Commission.

However, Speenghar told Afghanistan Times that no presidential decree was issued in this regard.

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