President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Sunday informed the Meshrano Jirga that he could not nominate anyone for the Senate seats reserved for district council representatives.
District council elections have not been held so far in the country, where the said Senate seats have been given to provincial council members over the past eight years.
Article 84 of the constitution says the senators include a member of each provincial council for a period of four years and one from every district council for a period of three years.
The president names technocrats, including two representatives from the disabled and impaired and two from the Kuchis and the remaining one-third of members for a period of five years. The president appoints 50% of the people from amongst women.
A person appointed as a member of the Meshrano Jirga will have to relinquish his membership of the respective council, and another person replaces him in accordance with the law.
Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar told the upper house he had written a letter to President Ghani regarding the election of district council members to the Senate.
In response, the president wrote to Muslimyar: “The Senate berths for district council members could not be given to others.” Until the district council elections are held, the 102-member house strength will remain 69.
The house could hold its sessions in the presence of provincial council members, the president opined, urging the Meshrano Jirga to make efforts to complete the quorum. Of the 61 members present, 60 supported the presidential view.