A number of MPs in the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament, on Saturday reacted to President Ashraf Ghani’s reported remarks on summoning of security ministers and said the president had asked the legislators to cancel their decision in this respect.
“According to our information, Ghani was concerned about the summoning of the [security] ministers and had said if ministers were summoned, he will dissolve the parliament,” said Abdul Latif Pedarm, an MP from Badakhshan.
“Based on which law the government wants to threaten the legislation pillar and the Constitution? This government itself has been established based on a deal,” MP Mirwais Yasini said, referring to reported remarks by Ghani.
The first deputy speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (the Lower House of Parliament) Humayun Humayun, who met with President Ghani on Friday, said on Saturday that the president had urged him to ignore summoning the heads of security agencies.
“The first thing that President Ghani told us was that we should remove the summoning [of senior security officials] from the agenda [of the Wolesi Jirga],” he told MPs at the Wolesi Jirga.
Humayun said he rejected the president’s demand. However, a number of MPs said Ghani had warned that he will issue an order to dissolve the national assembly.
The Wolesi Jirga’s Saturday session was held behind closed doors after the first deputy speaker’s request.
“If you want me to share all the issues I discussed with President [Ghani], then the session should be held behind closed doors,” Humayun said.
After the session, a number of MPs revealed what Ghani discussed in the meeting with the first deputy speaker.
“President [Ghani] reacted unprecedentedly and warned that if MPs summon ministers, he will dissolve the parliament,” MP Rahman Rahmani said.
However, President Ghani’s deputy spokesman Dawa Khan Minapal said in a statement on Saturday that the president has not mentioned anything about the dissolving of the parliament in his meeting with the deputy speaker of the Wolesi Jirga.
“President [Ashraf Ghani] has not discussed the issue of dissolving of the National Assembly with anyone or any official,” he said.
In response to the question whether the president has the authority to cancel the parliament, Abdul Subhan Misbah, deputy head of Afghanistan’s Lawyers Union, said: “According to the authorities which have been given to president by the law, there is nothing which says president has the authority to dissolve parliament.”
This comes after the Wolesi Jirga decided to summon interior and defense ministers as well as the head of the National Directorate of Security to brief them on their findings about a group attack on Sardar Daud Hospital in Kabul which left dozens of people dead and wounded.