Mon, Sep

Provincial Councils Agree to IDLG's Plan for Restoring Oversight Powers

idlg-meetingProvincial Council leaders nationwide have accepted a draft plan by the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) to reconstitute their oversight powers when it comes to local governance and development.
In a meeting today with the leadership of the IDLG, Provincial Council representatives agreed to end their strike and reactivate themselves according to the final draft outlining their new oversight authorities. The IDLG has said that the draft will be completed on Sunday, at which point it will then be forwarded on to President Ashraf Ghani for approval and then on to Parliament.

Although the details of the new stipulations remain unclear, the chairman of all 34 of Afghanistan's Provincial Councils endorsed the IDLG's course of action.

"In the discussion that our leadership had with the chairmen of the Provincial Council of the 34 provinces, they accepted our draft plan and based on which, the oversight role of the councils will return within a specific framework," IDLG spokesman Tawab Ghorzang said. "This draft will soon be finalized and will be sent to the president."

Before anything is finalized, though, some council members have said there are a few small adjustments that need to be made to the IDLG's policy plan. "In general, we agree with this agreement, but there are some minor issues that must be solved," Parwan Provincial Council Chair Ghulam Bahauddin Jeelani said. "We have assigned a joint legal commission, after which the issues that we disagree on will be solved and this draft plan will be finalized," he added.

But many Provincial Council heads are looking for greater expediency. Bamyan Provincial Council Chairman Tayeba Khaware told that the new oversight policy should be implemented immediately on the basis of a presidential order because Parliament is still in recess. "Our suggestion is that the oversight role of Provincial Council members be returned soon, and until the return of MPs from their vacation, the agreed upon draft must be implemented with a presidential decree, and the law can be adjusted after the return of representatives."

Kabul Provincial Council Chair Abdul Rahman Hashemi voiced a similar sentiment. "Our suggestion is that the president call the MPs back from their winter vacation, that this draft be presented, and that the oversight role of the Provincial Council members must be returned to them as soon as possible," he said.

MPs were the ones to originally strip the Provincial Councils of their oversight powers, which prompted the local representative bodies to close their doors in various parts of the country for the past 10 days.