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Wolesi Jirga rejects presidential decree on SERC’s recommendations

AT-KABUL: The Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of the parliament) on Monday rejected another presidential decree about recommendations of the Special Electoral Reforms Commission (SERC).

President Ashraf Ghani through a decree approved seven of the 11 recommendations made by the SERC.

The key recommendations approved by the president included establishment of a committee to appoint new commissioners for the Independent Election Commission (IEC), drawing up voters list and 25 percent representation of women in provincial and district councils. The suggestions also include distribution of electronic ID cards.

This was the sixth decree of President Ghani that was rejected by the Wolesi Jirga.

Nazir Ahmad Ahmadzai, the deputy speaker of the Wolesi Jrga, said that establishment of the selection committee was illegal.  He added that the decree was in contrast with the law and could lead the country towards more crises.

Abdul Qadir Zazai Watandost, a lawmaker, said that election laws were approved by the Wolesi Jirga and endorsed by former president, thus, he urged the lawmakers to reject the decree. “Leaders of the National Unity Government—President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah— want to dismiss the incumbent commissioners and appoint new people based on the a formula outlined by the two leaders,” he added.

Some 132 out of the 134 present lawmakers voted against the decree.