Provincial council heads warn to boycott polls

 
KABUL (PAN): A number of provincial council chiefs on Sunday warned if they were not fully authorised to monitor local government departments, they would boycott the April provincial council elections.
At a meeting with Wolesi Jirga’s Administrative Board members, the council heads urged lawmakers to approve a draft law increasing their authority to monitor the affairs of provincial departments.
They also called for the tenure of provincial councils to be extended from one year to two years.
The draft law has been sent to the lower house three months ago, but it is yet to be passed for unknown reasons.
Uruzgan provincial council chief Amanullah Hotak asked the Wolesi Jirga to urgently adopt the law.
Hotak, who is seeking his reelection, said all council members wanted to be fully authorised to monitor the government’s affairs, otherwise they would boycott the elections.
He said provincial council members should be allowed to monitor all affairs of local government institutions and update the President, the Mishrano Jirga and the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) about their activities.
Meanwhile, Herat council chief Syed Abdul Wali Qatali said: “We are not here to call for a raise in salaries, we have come here to reduce the problems exist in local government offices.”
He said if the councils lacked full authority of monitoring then holding the provincial council elections by spending a large amount of money would be useless.
He said the word “monitor” should be added to the provincial council draft law and warned all Herat council candidates would not participate in the upcoming elections if their demand was ignored.
Meanwhile, Hajji Abdul Zahir Salangi, deputy head of Parwan provincial council, warned if their demand was not considered, he would be among 50 Parwan representatives to announce a boycott of the elections.
mrh/ma
 

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