Crisis deepens in Parliament as rift continues over Speaker

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Legislators in the Afghan parliament were close to agreeing on a final decision on the house speaker when some MPs protested over public voting, which further deepened the crisis and led into a brawl among supporters of the two leading candidates — Mir RahmanRahmani and Kamal NasirOsuli.

A footage from Wednesday’s session in the parliament that went viral on social media shows that a number of angry MPs threw away the chair and the desk of the speaker of the parliament to prevent Rahmani to take his seat.

A woman lawmaker, MalalaiEshaqzai, who spoke during the brawl among MPs, called the rifts a “shame” and a “dishonor” to the will of the nation and said those who are creating this situation “have come from the streets”.

“It is unfortunate that we are threatened to death from the address of [some] MPs here,” another woman lawmaker NilofarIbrahimi.

The rift began on May 18, when 247 MPs decided to vote Rahmani and Osuli. Based on this quorum, 124 votes were needed for a winning candidate, but 244 MPs cast their votes in which Rahmani got 123 votes while Osuli got 55 votes. A single vote which could determine the fate of the house speaker was announced invalid due to having a dot in the bottom of the ballot paper.

On May 19, a committee of 15 lawmakers was formed to decide on the one controversial vote, but it failed. Another committee of 25 members was formed after that, but it also failed to overcome the rift.

However, on Tuesday, June 18, the lawmakers decided to revote for the two MPs — either by using secret or public voting. Wednesday’s session went into crisis after Osuli’s supporters opposed the public voting by MPs.

Rahmani’s supporters said some MPs are trying to disrupt parliament’s order.

AmanullahGuzar, an MP from Kabul, who is a supporter of Rahmani, said he will overcome the rift through “any option”.

Some MPs, meanwhile, accused the government of fueling the refit in the parliament.

“The government deliberately supports some MPs to push the house towards a deadlock,” said Mohammad AzimMohseni, an MP.

Osuli, who got 55 votes in the previous voting, called for legal channels to resolve the issue.

“Will let no one preside over the parliament except through legal channels,” Osuli said.

Last week, Rahmani who was declared as the new speaker of parliament after controversial voting in May, vowed not to step down from his post despite his critics say he has not secured the required votes for the post.

“I will not step down from my post,” he reiterated.

Rahmani said that there are certain elements inside and outside the house who are not willing to see an end to the current crisis in the parliament.(TOLOnews)