President Ghani inaugurates WJ’s 17th legislative term, pledges to protect nation till presidential polls

Six months after Afghans voted for new representatives, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani finally inaugurated Wolesi Jirga’s 17th legislative term on Friday April 26th although a number of seats remained empty as Kabul elections’ result yet to be announced after fraud allegations made.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony, President Ghani has pledged to protect the nation and not allow anyone to commit anguish till the conduct of the upcoming presidential elections.
“Today we pledge to the people of Afghanistan to perform legislation, monitoring of government affairs and representation of the people in a proper manner so that they trust us and create an environment of coordination among the three forces of government.”
He added: “We consider ourselves oblige to serve the people in coordination with the remaining two forces of the government.”
President Ghani said the presence of young Afghan representatives has new message. “Although our civil services and security institutions have more young personnel but now, we see that most of our parliamentarians are young people.”
He said the empty seats of representative of Kabul province is not acceptable, adding that a deadline should be set for the announcement of Wolesi Jirga results from Kabul.
The president said the people of Afghanistan and security institutions expected full support to security forces from the new members of the Wolesi Jirga. “I believe that you would have more deep strategic cooperation with security institutions compared to the past representatives and refrain from going after your own wishes, forcing the appointments of your choice and other irrelevant affairs,” he said.
The president termed the role of Wolesi Jirga vital in peace process and added: “Peace our primary need, an proper and collective strategy of peace has been prepared to which I am committed. In my strategy no deal could go ahead unless there is green card from the parliament,” he said.
“Be sure, you would be part of the peace process team, I want to assure you that key to peace is in our unity,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) on Monday questioned the participation of 33 Wolesi Jirga candidates in the lower house inaugural session before obtaining their acknowledgment certificates from the Independent Election Commission (IEC). The IEC had announced the final results of the October parliamentary polls from 29 provinces and on the inaugural day of the lower house, the commission announced the results of three provinces and Kochi Constituency.
But FEFA Executive Head Yousuf Rashid said an individual could be called a lawmaker or a member of the lower house when he/she received membership certificate from the IEC. He said the announcement of the final results of the four constituencies simultaneously with the inauguration of the lower house raised different questions with election watchdogs. “Just one day ahead of the final result announcement, IEC officials held a different view but due to political pressures they announced the results.”
IEC Deputy Spokesman Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi said the distribution of certificates to wining candidates from Midan Wardak, Baghlan, Kunduz and Kochi electoral constituencies had been postponed due to public holidays.

The Kabul Times

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