The damage caused to National Assembly’s credibility

Monday, 05 March 2018 03:22 Written by  Read 428 times

The philosophy of formation of parliament is to build a bridge between the government and people besides lawmaking. Therefore, parliament is called the “nation’s home”, and its members the representatives of the nation. Their main duty is to encourage and/or force the government to address the problems faced by citizens. The Afghan parliament, especially the Lower House (Wolesi Jirga), has completely failed to fulfill its duties. The majority of Wolesi Jirga members have become part of the problem instead of pressing the government on behalf of people to deliver. Instead of representing people, many of them have become “commission agents”, and are always trying to protect their individual interests. Their preferential treatment even in the passage of laws is of serious concern.
Based on laws and Wolesi Jirga’s Internal Rules of Procedures, winter recess is an opportunity for lawmakers to identify and hear the problems of their constituents, and urge the government to resolve them. However, the lawmakers instead spend their winter break in foreign countries. According to some reports, most members of Parliament, in liue of travelling to their provinces, spent their days off in Dubai and other cities using the money they have earned from contracts they have managed to illegally secure through their influence as lawmakers.
While the lawmakers accuse the government of not respecting their decisions, they cannot admit that it is actually them to be blamed for it. Their involvement in corruption and illegal deals has hurt their popularity to an extent that even ordinary people don’t view them as their representatives, something which gives the government a chance to have no regard for their decisions. Why the people should defend public representatives who cannot travel to their provinces even once in a year during the winter recess to hear the problems of their people.
Although the bicameral National Assembly will reconvene this week after their winter break, there is again no optimism about their work. Afghans have lost their faith in their parliament besides the government’s executive power; therefore, the parliamentary election should be held as soon as possible. Taking into account that the sitting lawmakers will definitely make their way into the parliament if electoral system is not reformed, election should be held transparently to pave the way for the real representatives of people to win the seats of this key institution so that they can legally force the government into holding itself accountable to the public.

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