MoJ: Elections to Follow by Loya Jirga
The Minister of Justice, Basir Anwar on Monday said the National Unity Government (NUG) was committed to convening the Loya Jirga, but elections had to come first. He said in order for the country to hold a constitutional amendment Loya Jirga, parliamentary and district council elections first need to be held. He said the NUG was however, committed to convening the Loya Jirga. “After wrapping up parliamentary and district council elections, on behalf of the national unity government I promise you that Insha Allah (God willing) there is the capacity and commitment within government to convene the Loya Jirga,” he said.
Under the NUG political agreement, President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah pledged to convene a Loya Jirga within two years of the signing of the NUG agreement so as to establish the office of prime minister. However, the two year mark passed in September last year and no Loya Jirga has been held. The statement comes a week after Abdullah pledged support to change the current centralized political system to a parliamentary system, clarifying that his views shouldn’t be interpreted as opposition to the Afghan constitution. “Constitutional amendment is one of the key items of the commitments made by the national unity government which is supposed to be discussed at a constitutional Loya Jirga. The constitutional event will focus on the position of the chief executive or premiership and the issue is quite clear, a commission for the constitutional amendment was also agreed. But unfortunately work so far has not been done in this respect, while all these must happen in line with the constitution and not any other document or on the basis of any foreign dictation,” Abdullah said.
No district council elections were held in the country over the past 10 years. “Thirteen years have passed since the ratification of the Afghan constitution, there is a need for the constitutional amendment; one of its problems is the national unity government,” said MP Mirdad Khan Nejrabi. But critics said that government’s failure to hold district council elections has challenged the constitutional Loya Jirga.
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