KABUL - The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs on Saturday introduced eight individuals to the Wolesi Jirga or lower house of the parliament to replace seven members standing down in the run up to the April 5 elections and one deceased female lawmaker.
These individuals were runners-up in the previous parliamentary elections, winning the highest number of votes among the unsuccessful candidates, according to the Independent Election Commission (’IEC).
They replace resigning MPs including Syed Ishaq Gillani, Syed Hussain Anwari, Abdul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, Mohammad Mohaqqiq, Shah Abdul Ahad Afzali, Syed Hussain Alami Balkhi, Ibrahim Qasmi and deceased female lawmaker from western Herat, Shehnaz Himmati, who has died in a road crash in neighbouring Iran.
The new faces were introduced by deputy parliamentary affairs minister Karim Baz, who said the replacements were based on the IEC’s decision.
They are Qudratullah Sahak, Haji Mehdawi, Zamrak Padkhwabi, Ihsan Sabizada, Abdul Qadir Zazai, Abdul Wali Niazi and Abdul Qadir. The eighth new member is Semin Barakzai, who replaces Himmati.
Barakzai had been on the seat for some time after winning the previous elections, but she was later unseated by the IEC and was replaced by Rahima Jamai as Wolesi Jirga member from Herat.
Besides lawmakers, several ministers and governors have stood down to contest the presidential elections and running mates to presidential candidates.
They include commerce and industry minister Anwarul Haq Ahadi, foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul, presidential advisor Hidayat Amin Arsala, water and energy minister Ismail Khan, petroleum and mines minister Wahidullah Shahran.
Other top senior government officials, who have resigned to contest the elections, are advisor to President Karzai on security Abdul Rahim Wardak, the Security Transition Commission chief Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption chief Azizullah Lodin, senior military official Abdul Rashid Dostum, Nangarhar Governor Gul Agha Sherzai and Bamyan Governor Habiba Sarabi.
The IEC on Saturday said it was likely to release a preliminary list of presidential candidates later in the day, but added vetting process of the 26 hopefuls continued. (Pajhwok)