National Assembly (Afghanistan)

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National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan[1]

د افغانستان د اسلامی جمهوري دولت ملي شورا
شورای ملی دولت جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان
Type
Type
HousesMeshrano Jirga (House of Elders)
Wolesi Jirga (House of the People)
History
Disbanded15 August 2021
Leadership
President of Wolesi Jirga
Vacant
since 15 August 2021[2]
President of Meshrano Jirga
Fazel Hadi Muslimyaar
since 29 January 2011
Seats352 members (Wolesi Jirga: 249, Meshrano Jirga: 103)
Meeting place
Afghan parliament building 2015.jpg
Kabul
Website
wj.parliament.af
mj.parliament.af

The National Assembly (Pashto: ملی شورا‎, romanized: Mili Shura, Persian: شورای ملی‎, romanizedShura-e Milli), also known as the Parliament of Afghanistan or simply as the Afghan Parliament, was the legislature of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. It was effectively dissolved on 15 August 2021 after the fall of Kabul and after almost all government officials fled the country. It was a bicameral body, comprising two chambers:

According to Chapter Five of the Constitution of Afghanistan, "the National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as the highest legislative organ was the manifestation of the will of its people and represents the whole nation. Every member of the National Assembly took into judgment the general welfare and supreme interests of all people of Afghanistan at the time of casting their vote".[3]

Duties of the National Assembly[edit]

Ratification, modification or abrogation of laws or legislative decrees; Approval of social, cultural, economic as well as technological development programs; Approval of the state budget as well as permission to obtain or grant loans; Creation, modification and or abrogation of administrative units; Ratification of international treaties and agreements, or abrogation of membership of Afghanistan in them; Other authorities enshrined in this Constitution.

The Wolesi Jirga (House of People)[edit]

The Wolesi Jirga has 250 seats with members directly elected by the people. Sixty-eight women were elected to the seats reserved under the Constitution, while 17 of them have been elected in their own rights. Each province was given proportionate representation in the Wolesi Jirga according to its population. Each member of the Wolesi Jirga will enjoy a five-year term.

An aspiring candidate for the Wolesi Jirga must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be at least 25 years of age
  • Be a citizen of Afghanistan
  • Be registered as a voter
  • Be running as a representative in only one province
  • Pay a registration fee of 15,000 Afghanis (approximately US$300) which will be refunded provided the candidate wins at least three percent (3%) of the vote
  • Submit a nomination form along with photocopies of 500 voter ID cards supporting the candidacy

In addition, no candidate can have been charged with crimes against humanity.

The Meshrano Jirga (House of Elders)[edit]

The inside of the old Parliament building (2006).

The Meshrano Jirga consists of a mixture of appointed and elected members (total 102 members). Sixty-eight members were selected by 34 directly elected Provincial Councils, and 34 were appointed by the President. President Karzai's appointments were vetted by an independent UN sponsored election board and included 17 women (50%), as required by the Constitution.

Each provincial council has elected one council member to serve in the Jirga (34 members), also each district council (34 members). Representatives of provincial councils will serve a term of four years, while representatives of district councils will serve a term of three years. Sebghatulla Mojadeddi was appointed President of Meshrano Jirga.

An aspiring candidate for the Meshrano Jirga must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be at least 35 years of age
  • Be a citizen of Afghanistan

In addition, no potential member of the Meshrano Jirga can have been charged with crimes against humanity.[4]

New Parliament building[edit]

The new National Assembly Building

The National Assembly is located next to the famous Darul Aman Palace in Darulaman, which is the southwestern section of Kabul where many important national institutions are found.[5] The current building for the Assembly was built by India as part of its contribution in the rebuilding of Afghanistan.[6] It was inaugurated in late 2015 by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his guest Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.[7] The current Parliament was inaugurated on April 26, 2019 after being sworn in by Ghani.[8][9]

The foundation stone for the new National Assembly Building was laid in August 2005 by the last reigning monarch of Afghanistan, King Zahir, in the presence of Hamid Karzai and Manmohan Singh.[10] India's Central Public Works Department (CPWD) was the consultant for the project and the contract was awarded to an Indian infrastructure company in 2008.[11] The new Parliament building is corralled in a 100-acre plot in the famous Darulaman section of Kabul.[6] It sits next to two historical landmarks: the Darul Aman Palace and the Tajbeg Palace.

The construction work on the $220 million dollar building was initially slated to be complete by 2012, in 36 months. The deadline, however, was pushed back due to challenging work conditions, shortage of skilled workforce and precarious security environment. More than 500 laborers had worked on the building, most of them Indian nationals. The main attraction of the building is a bronze dome of 32 meter diameter and 17.15 meter height is considered to be the largest dome in Asia. The big dome will cover the assembly hall and the small dome will be over the entrance lobby. In front of the building, there is a water body with nine cascading fountains. Inside the building, a 20-feet fountain, made of green marble imported from Indian city of Udaipur, has been installed.[5]

On December 25, 2015, during a state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the new Parliament building was inaugurated along with President Ashraf Ghani.[12][13] Ghani tweeted: "Pleased to welcome PM Modi to Kabul. Though, India & Afghanistan need no introduction, we are bound by a thousand ties... We have stood by each other in the best and worst of times."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.parliament.af/
  2. ^ Lalzoy, Najibullah (15 August 2021). "Afghan President leaves country, Taliban directed to enter Kabul". Khaama News. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Chapter Five – The National Assembly". afghan-web.com. 2004. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-11-06. Retrieved 2016-11-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b Afghanistan New Parliament building gifted by INDIA Afghanistan's closest ally. Tolo TV. December 23, 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  6. ^ a b "$220 million new Afghan parliament to be inaugurated in 5 months". Khaama Press. July 12, 2015. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  7. ^ "PM Narendra Modi, Ashraf Ghani inaugurate new parliament building in Kabul". India. December 25, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  8. ^ http://prod.tolonews.com/afghanistan/ghani-inaugurates-parliament
  9. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/04/26/world/asia/ap-as-afghanistan.html
  10. ^ Siddharth Varadarajan, ed. (August 30, 2005). "Democracy not the preserve of the West: Karzai". The Hindu. Archived from the original on November 23, 2005. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
  11. ^ "MEA | Photo Features : Photos". mea.gov.in. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  12. ^ "Modi inaugurates new Afghan Parliament built by India in Kabul". hindustantimes.com. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  13. ^ PM Modi inaugurates the new Parliament building of Afghanistan. India. December 25, 2015. Retrieved 2016-01-04.

External links[edit]