Event Objective: The students will learn how the parliament is structured, how the Parliament build bridges between various state segments and how the MPs are accountable to their voters.
Location: Kateeb University students, Kabul Afghanistan
Participants: 35 students of the faculty of Politics and Law, University Professors, FEFA experts and the Parliament Member Ms. Nasima Niazi
MP: Ms. Nasima Niazi the Parliament member from Helmand Province
Facilitated by: The Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan the PM Department
Date: November 10, 2015
Brief Introduction to the student events:
As originated in the structure of FEFA work plan, beside other activities mentioned in the work plan, the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) is officially involved in the process of monitoring the Parliament activities both at (Mashrano Jurga/upper house and Wolosi Jirga/lower house). FEFA has a department named the “Parliamentary Monitoring Team” which is mainly split into two directions the Parliamentary Monitors and the Citizen Outreach and Media portions. The University student events organized both at Kabul and Provincial level aims to introduce the Parliament Involvement in the state building as well the Parliamentary system now functioning in the country.
Event details organized at Kateeb University:
First of all the event has introduced by FEFA experts to the audiences and thanked everyone (Students, MP, and the University Professors) for their kind participation. Once again, FEFA thanked the MP for having time in participating in the event and requested to say more about the Parliament and related issues.
Ms. Nasima Niazi the most talented and active woman member of the parliament who remained since long as the Member of Parliament (Round 15th and now the 16th) in the parliament. She introduced herself, as she is from Helmand province, studied politics and law beside that she remained as teacher for a long period before she came to parliament. She highlighted the key capacity building trainings which all the MPs received during this round was the Parliamentary System training provided by GIZ remained much helpful for everyone. She talked more about structure and conditions of both the Wolosi Jirga and Mashrano Jirga, she said as per definitions, the state is structured of three segments (Government, Law and the Judiciary), all the laws to be reviewed, retained, passed and/or rejected is the responsibility of Wolosi Jirga except the budget which comes first to Mashrano Jirga and then to Wolosi Jirga and at final stage the result is declared to the government. She said during the round 15 and 16 of the Parliament more than 500 laws, protocols and conventions are processed and passed by the Parliament. She described the structure of Wolosi Jirga and said, there are 18 commissions working on different parts of the state (development, judiciary and law) issues, meantime, there is parliament internal code of conducts and management procedures which came as a law and enforced now in the parliament. She described about the development aspects and the women condition in the parliament and outside. She said, women are still not unity in the parliament and there are still confusions among women in the parliament which are mainly dominated and perpetrated by other men in the parliament. Specifically she said the decisions in the women commission on a specific issue which supports women are retarded or remained incomplete because of low participation and low quorum. However, among 249 members of the parliament, there are 69 women members in Wolosi Jirga and among 102 members of Mashrano Jirga there are 20 women but still men remained as first because they have money and still use power.
Asked questions by the students:
1. Why there are 18 commissions in the Parliament?
2. What was the benefit of Mutual Military Agreement signed with United States?
3. Why the laws are not executed by the government? And what is role of Parliament when (a) law is still not executed by the government?
The MP urged as of the first question: There are 18 commissions as defined law to monitor the impacts and situation of the government’s 18 priorities or the 18 National Priority Programs. Beside this, these commissions are working on other issues and priorities given by the management of parliament mostly in the plenary meetings.
On the second question: The MP said, yes we not feel the immediate benefits of this agreement now but if we think beyond it is definitely necessary. She said, you know the United States fund our security segments till 2018 and by yearly basis they provide us up to 5 billion of USD which is not possible for us to compensate this amount from our national budget.
On the third question: The MP said, yes there are still huge problems among parliament and the government but we struggle to minimize these constraints and all the laws will properly executed.
At the final the MP and FEFA thanked everyone for their proper participation and the Kateeb University administration for the giving time in organizing such event. The MP thanked FEFA for organizing this event as well for their enthusiasm and interests in knowing about the parliament and such national issues.