PAN, May 27, 2008

Outspoken MP driven from Wolesi Jirga session

You frequently disrupt meetings and Im going to expel you, Qanuni warned the blunt parliamentarian.

Makia Munir

An outspoken legislator was expelled from a session of the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of parliament, for his strident criticism of proceedings and working of a committee, officials said here on Tuesday.

Ramazan Bashar Dost, former planning minister, was ousted from a meeting of the Wolesi Jirga on grilling Emergency Committee members after he raised a series of objections to the absence of the bodys head, Vice-President Karim Khalili.

Malalai Joya
Malalai Joya, a strong critic of the warolords in the parliament was suspended by the parliament

At the outset of the proceedings, the French-educated technocrat said: The Emergency Committee has its chief, who has to answer our queries. Members of the body are not supposed to do his job.

Whoever headed the committee, irrespective of his status, had to attend the important session involving questions about a shortage of food items, the damage caused by flooding in various parts of the country and problems of refugees, he argued.

Speaker Muhammad Younus Qanuni, who supported the argument regarding the presence of Khalili, disagreed with Bashar Dosts suggestion for voting on whether or not Emergency Committee members should furnish replies to questions from lawmakers.

You frequently disrupt meetings and Im going to expel you, Qanuni warned the blunt parliamentarian. The speaker soon asked for calling in security officials to oust the blunt member.

Following the harsh remarks from the chair, Bashar Dost walked out of the meeting in a huff, a sorry spectacle that drew heavy flak from Noor Akbari --- a public representative from the central Daikundi province.

Ejecting a lawmaker from the house in compliance with rules was alright but asking security men to drive him/her out was a breach of privilege, Akbari observed.As the Emergency Committee failed to satisfactorily answer a volley of questions on the issues touching peoples lives, the parliamentarians emphasised upon its members to bring changes to their strategy so as urgent problems of the masses could be addressed effectively.

The committee had totally failed to convince the august house of its efficiency, remarked Qanuni while joining a chorus of criticism from legislators. He told the committee to present the house a detailed plan setting out its budget and strategy for discussion after an upcoming donor conference in Paris.

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