KABUL - The Wolesi Jirga -- or lower house of parliament -- on Saturday accepted two suggestions of President Hamid Karzai about a draft election law, but could not take any decision on others proposals due to lack of quorum.
Over the past 11 years, parliamentary elections have been conducted under legislative decrees, but five months back, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) prepared a draft law and sent it to the Wolesi Jirga for approval.
The Wolesi Jirga passed the proposed legislative measure two months ago, but Karzai did not sign it into law, expressing certain reservations. He returned the draft to parliament with some suggestions on April 29.
The presidential suggestions pertained to seven articles of the law, deputy head of judicial commission, Mohammad Abdahu, told Saturday’s session.
The draft law suggests a member of the Electoral Complaints Commission should have the membership of the Supreme Court, but Karzai opposes this provision, saying a judge can’t work out of the top court.
Karzai also insisted the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Secretariat head should also serve as the panel’s secretary, but the assembly wanted different individual in these positions, the MP explained.
While opposing the Wolesi Jirga’s decision on dual nationalities of IEC commissioners, Karzai argued the provision applied to only candidates for the presidency.
While the two proposals were approved, a meeting of house commission heads rejected six others.
Karzai proposed the ECC should not be as independent body but it should be part of IEC or Supreme Court, a suggestion okayed by the assembly.
The draft law says 14 members be nominated for IEC and eight for ECC. Their names should be sent to the president, who will select nine members for IEC and five for ECC.
Similarly, Karzai suggested 22 IEC members should be appointed through open competition. The Wolesi Jirga, while accepting the proposal, said the panel should be led by the speaker.
But a legislator from Parwan, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, said two-thirds of MPs had to vote on the presidential suggestions.
Some of the proposals should be accepted, but amendments to any law required support from two-third of members, said a public representative from Kabul, Mohammad Younus Qanuni. (Pajhwok)