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Wolesi Jirga defers CEO office budget approval

Wolesi Jirga defers CEO office budget approval

Apr 22, 2015 - 17:44

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon on Wednesday deferred approving a presidential decree that declared the Chief Executive Office a budgetary unit to next session due to a lack of quorum.

Then presidential contenders Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah signed an agreement in September last year to form the national unity government after the inconclusive presidential election on June 14.

The deal that had to be brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry made Ghani the head of state and Abdullah the head of the newly-created position of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the government “with the functions of an executive prime minister“but not that title.

A month after his inauguration as president, Ashraf Ghani issued a decree declaring the structures under the CEO --- the office of his Chief of Staff and the Council of Ministers’ secretariat as a budgetary unit.

However, the decree has to be approved by the parliament.

On Wednesday, the presidential decree was presented before the lower house by the Justice and Judicial commission for a debate.

Mohammad Obda, the commission head, said the presidential decree had been sent to the national assembly during its winter recess.

He said budget for the CEO office hanged in the balance and it was necessary to approve the CEO office as a budget unit.

But outspoken female lawmaker from Kabul Shukria Barakzai said the creation of the chief executive office was against the constitution and the lower house could not act against the constitution.

She said since the CEO position had come into being under a political compromise, expenses for the office should be paid by political leaders from their own pockets.

But a lawmaker from central Parwan province, responding to Barakzai’s remarks, said political affiliations and grudges should be avoided in the debate.

“It the government had not been formed under a political compromise, the country would have plunged into a new crisis.”

He said lawmakers should not make statements that created problems for the country, keeping in view the prevailing political scenario.

Lawmaker Abdul Hafiz Mansoor from Kabul held similar views, but Ramazan Bashardost said the unity government had no credibility.

Mansoor told Bashardost: “You shut up and listen to me. If I approached you, I will hit you in the face. You have not been hit in the face so far that’s why you talk much. If I was the speaker, I would have got rid of you in two days.”

On hearing these harsh words, Bashardost complained to Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, but he overruled his complaint and ordered security guards to take Bashardost out of the house.

Ibrahimi said the house could not approve the presidential decree on budget for the CEO office because the quorum was incomplete and the next session would make a decision on the issue without any debate.

Of the total 245 members, only 70 were present at today’s session.



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