Relations between the government and the House of Representatives have not been good for a long time. The House of Representatives considers the government to be the center of corruption and vice versa. Members of parliament have also repeatedly criticized what they call law-breaking in the government. In return, the government has repeatedly criticized the extrajudicial behavior of parliament and its members. The result of these sharp criticisms and mutual accusations is the unfavorable atmosphere of non-cooperation that has recently developed between the two powers.
The new confrontation between the House of Representatives and the government was formed following the parliament’s opposition to the Security Pact and National Aid programs. Despite the opposition, the government implemented these programs and did not react to the parliament’s criticism. Later, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh accused members of the House of Representatives of involvement in corruption and called for the abolition of their parliamentary immunity. Following this, Rula Ghani criticized the parliament’s operations and likened it to a shop for buying and selling votes. Recently, the President also opposed the decision of the House of Representatives against the draft budget for the year 2021-22. He said that the delegates do not have the right to propose the project to be included in the budget document.
The House of Representatives has had its own responses to each of these criticisms and accusations. Following the accusations made by Saleh, this institution has voted no confidence to four candidates proposed by Arg, the presidential palace and the candidate for the governance of the Central Bank. The draft budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year was also rejected by the House of Representatives. In addition, a number of officials loyal to the Arg team, including Kabul Mayor Dawood Sultanzoi, were reported to the Attorney General’s Office by the House of Representatives on charges of embezzling money for bread during the coronavirus outbreak. Recently, the Ministry of Finance was asked to cut salaries and financial benefits for those who did not received a vote of confidence from the parliament to continue working in the relevant ministries. Ajmal Ahmadi, the Central Bank governor’s candidate, is also included in the request.
The House of Representatives has decided not to approve the bill until its proposals are included in the budget proposal. One of the most important proposals of the parliament is to equalize the salaries of government employees and to balance the development projects, which in the view of this institution should include the 2021-22 budget plan. MPs have said they will not go on winter vacation until the issue of the national budget is fully resolved. The Parliament’s winter break will begin for 45 days on the 20th of January.
The political confrontation between the government and the House of Representatives takes place as the second round of peace talks between the government and the Taliban delegations continues in Qatar. The Taliban is still in the same position as before and is not satisfied with anything less than absolute power. This group did not recognize the current government in the past and see it as nothing more than an illegitimate armed group. In such a situation, this confrontation sends a worrying message and will further weaken the republic against the Taliban.
As it is clear, the people are not satisfied with the operations of the House of Representatives and government. Unfortunately, corruption both within the government and within the parliament is an undeniable fact that is inherited from the past. In addition, most members of both branches have an equal share in breaking laws, and neither is superior to the other in terms of rule of law and legality. However, the continuation of the confrontation between these two institutions will not have a good outcome and will increase the dissatisfaction of the people and possibly their hatred of the entire government apparatus. It is clear that the conflict between the government and the parliament will have a negative effect on the provision of public services and their quality, and this in turn will cause the people to further distance themselves from the government. This is a serious danger that both powers must understand.
The government and the parliament can overcome this confrontation by referring to the constitution and abiding by the public interest and common good. The Constitution defines the limits of the powers and responsibilities of both powers. If things are not clear in the constitution, it is necessary to refer to the authority/authorities for interpretation of the law and with their help, the current ignorance should be ended. If the problem is not in the law, behaving contrary to the provisions of the constitution is a kind of betrayal that should be prosecuted.
On the other hand, both government officials and members of parliament have sworn to office to do nothing but serve the national interest and the public good. If you are true to this oath, do not jeopardize the country’s affairs because of differences of opinion, tastes, political animosities and personal interests. The national and collective good is that all matters should be pursued in the light of the constitution, and this law should be the basis of all programs, actions and decisions of all elements of the system. Otherwise, the public good will not be achieved.
It is expected of the government and parliament to end this confrontation as soon as possible and carry out its duties in the light of the law. The continuation of this confrontation is not in the interest of either of these two institutions. In the meantime, people will be harmed and affected by this scandal. If you are loyal to the interests of the people and the law, do not use the position of the government and the parliament against each other. These institutions are designed to do nothing but serve the people and provide services to them. Therefore, the political abuse of these situations is a kind of betrayal of the people and will cause them twice the suffering in the future.