Thu, Oct

Draft law on privileges for lawmakers approved


voting-parliamentThe Wolesi Jirga on Saturday approved a draft law, allowing lower house members to draw 25 percent of their salaries, keep two guards and enjoy certain other privileges even after completing their tenure.

Prepared by MPs, the draft law on immunity and rights of members was placed before the general assembly today.  Immunity and Rights Commission head Sharifullah Kamawal said: “Earlier, the draft was titled as a law on immunity, privileges and rights, but the word privileges has been removed.”
He said there were no disputed points in the draft law because it had already been debated by the house commissions. In today’s session, 117 of the 125 legislators present voted in favour of the legislative measure.
Under the draft law, parliamentarians would receive 25 percent of their salaries and retain two guards, besides having diplomatic passports. Their families would be entitled to have official passports, said Mohammad Hassan Sehraee, another member of the commission.
He said the draft law also allowed legal proceedings a member of the national assembly. Each Wolesi Jirga member receives 195,000 afs in monthly salary.
Article 102 of the constitution says when a member of the assembly is accused of a crime, the law enforcement authority informs the house about the case, and the accused can be prosecuted.
In case of an evident crime, the law-enforcement authority can legally pursue and arrest the accused without permission from the house, which the accused is a member of.
But a parliamentarian from Kabul, Baktash Siawash, opposed the draft law. He told Pajhwok Afghan News lawmakers should not push for more perks and privileges, keeping in view the country’s financial constraints.