Two weeks after their summer recess ended, MPs in Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) have come under fire for not attending sessions.
A full quorum has been recording only once in this time.
This comes amid outcries by these MPs that when they summon heads of security agencies to appear before them to answer questions, these security chiefs fail to arrive.
Some MPs accused parliament’s administrative board for not enforcing the rules that MPs attend daily sessions and have said that most sessions end without any decisions being taken.
On Saturday, only about 70 MPs, out of 245, attended the day’s session. TOLOnews’ journalist who was present reported that legislators carried out various discussions on different topics with no structure.
“In other countries, if there are 200 MPs, 180 of them will be present, but it is 9:45am now and how many lawmakers are here out of 245?” asked Ramazan Bashardost, an MP from Kabul.
Saturday’s session reportedly ended early and the two deputy speakers left soon after.
However, the Wolesi Jirga’s media office refused to provide journalists with photographs of the day’s session.
“The management of this problem is related to the administrative board,” said Ghulam Farooq Majroh, an MP.
A former member of parliament meanwhile said many MPs have their own businesses while others, who are powerful figures, simply don’t attend.
“National investors are in parliament and they are often outside the country. There are at least 100 of them. This means we have at least 100 MPs absent every day. I have assessed this matter when I was part of the administrative board,” said Abdul Rauf Inami, a former MP.
This comes just a week ahead of the start of electoral campaigns for parliamentary candidates. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for October 20.