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Wolesi Jirga elects 1st deputy speaker, deputy secretary

AT-KABUL: The Wolesi Jirga, the parliament, on Sunday elected Zahir Qadir and Irfanullah Irfan as the first deputy speaker and deputy speaker respectively, but the candidates for second deputy speaker and secretary failed to gain the needed votes for the slots.

As per Article 87 of the Constitution, the parliament elects each of the two houses of the National Assembly, 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.

Zahir Qadir, an MP from eastern Nangarhar province, and lawmaker Sediq Ahmad Osmani contested for the first deputy speaker position. Qadir received 118 while his rival bagged 60 from the 119 present lawmakers. Every candidate was required to collect at least 100 votes from the assembly.

In the meantime, MP Saleh Mohammad Saljoqi won 79 votes and his rival Sayid Ali Kazimi obtained 92 votes, which failed both of them to become the second deputy speaker.

According to internal procedures of the house, another round of voting on the same position would take place today (Monday) among new contenders.

During the same session, Abdul Rauf Inami, Sayid Ikram, Abdul Qadir Qalatwal and Hila Irshad competed for the secretary slot, but all of them failed to obtain the required votes.

Ikram with 39 votes and Inami with 75 votes made it to the second round of voting scheduled to take place today.

Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said that the contest between Ikram and Inami would be held Monday because as a number of lawmakers had left the house, which made left the quorum incomplete.

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