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Wolesi Jirga rejects presidential decree

Ghani asked to remove Masoom Stanikzai, introduce new defense minister

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Wolesi Jirga (WJ) or House of the People on Saturday rejected the presidential decree regarding amendment in Article 5 of the law pertinent to acting ministers.

According to the law passed earlier by the Wolesi Jirga, an acting minister could not continue his job for more than two months. The president has proposed amendment to provide immunity to the acting ministers of interior and defense.

The decree was rejected with majority.

Member of Internal Security Committee (ISC) of the House, Salih Muhammad Salih, told Afghanistan Times that the president must remove the acting defense minister Muhammad Masoom Stanikzai from his post and introduce new defense minister to the Wolesi Jirga for vote of confidence.

Bashir Ahmad, an MP from Faryab, said that the presidential decree was against the Constitution and discrimination against other ministers. It was the fifth presidential decree that has been rejected by the lawmakers in one month.

In May, the Wolesi Jirga approved the changes proposed by the president in the law regarding caretaker ministries and state organizations. The changes brought about in the law enable an acting minister to be remain in the office for more than two months until a minister replaces him/her, said the Deputy of the Central Audit Committee (CAC) of the Wolesi Jirga, Assadullah Saadati. Before the approval of the changes, the acting ministers were allowed to work only a period of two months. Moreover, based on the Article 64 of the Constitution other state officials who don’t need to get vote of confidence from the lawmakers were also not allowed to work in offices for more than two months in caretaker capacity. The matter was keep changing the acting minister and acting governors after the interval of two months was quite an irksome job in case of non-availability of qualified ministers and governors therefore the government had to bring about the amendment. “Now the government has been asked to nominate ministers within ten days,” Saadati said.

He added that in case the parliament doesn’t approve a minister-designate or there comes recess of the parliament then under a presidential decree acting ministers must run their ministries until the minister is approved. The Deputy of CAC said that acting deputy ministers, acting governors, acting chiefs, and some other officials including diplomats who don’t need to get vote of confidence from the parliament cannot work as caretakers for more than two months, said  deputy of CAC. The law on caretaker setup is consisted of eights articles and one chapter.

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