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Wolesi Jirga’s decree rejection sparks protest

Wolesi Jirga’s decree rejection sparks protest

Nov 01, 2017 - 17:06

KABUL (Pajhwok): Justice Party of Afghanistan (JPA) supporters on Wednesday protested against the Wolesi Jirga for rejecting a presidential legislative decree amending the population registration law.

Two days earlier, the lower house threw out the decree by a majority vote.

In March 2013, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) had shared the draft population registration law having seven chapters and 39 articles with the lower house, which approved the measure within a month.

However, many people around the country opposed the law and demanded the addition of nationality and tribe in computerised identity cards after the president approved the proposed law in September 2014.

On March 2, 2016, following protests, the president okayed amendment to Article 6 of the law about the distribution of electronic ID cards. Based on the decree, nationality and tribe were mentioned in identity cards.

A number of JPA supporters opposed the Wolesi Jirga’s decision of rejecting the presidential legislative decree. Around 200 supporters of the party took part in the demonstration in front of the Parliament building.

The protestors were chanting slogans ‘death to traitor representatives, those selling our identity are not our representatives, we would never take identity cards that lack our nationality, we would add the word “Afghan” in our ID cards by force, it is our red line.”

Bakhtyar Padshah, a member of the JPA who took part in the protest, told Pajhwok Afghan News they staged the protest against the Wolesi Jirga’s decision.

He said the lower house’s decision was against public demand and the Constitution.

“Addition of our identity in electronic ID cards is our red line, those who voted against the public demand are traitors and we would never accept them as our representatives,” he said.

Maria Totakhel, another protestor, said Wolesi Jirga members rejected the presidential decree in order to secure their own interests.

Mohammad Nazir Ahmadzai, second deputy speaker of Wolesi Jirga who also attended the protest, said mentioning nationality in ID cards was the right of the nation.

He said a joint commission of Wolesi Jirga and Meshrano Jirga would be formed to decide the controversial issue.

A number of lower house members also opposed the majority decision on the presidential decree in today’s session.