The Lower House on Saturday rejected President Hamid Karzai’s legislative order that created a seat for Hindus in Parliament.
During Saturday’s session, the order of President Karzai was taken for up discussion and a majority of the members considered it to be against the Constitution.
“President Karzai legislative order in regards to an assigned seat for Hindus was rejected with majority of votes” said Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, Chairman of House of Representatives.
This marks the second time Karzai has had an order to create a Hindu Parliament seat rejected.
House members argued seats are based on election, so alotting a chair for Hindus was aken to an appointment.
“House of Representatives seats are based on elections; it is the right of the people to choose their representatives,” Herat MP Khalil Ahmad Shaheed said. “These seats can’t be just given away.”
Others were concerned witht he precedent such a move would set.
“We don’t want to give this privilege to Hindus because there are many other minorities in Afghanistan, and if give it to Hindus, then we must give to all other minorities as well,” Herat MP Munawar Shah Bahaduri said.
But there were other MPs who agreed with the legislative order and wanted a Hindu seat.
“If Kochis are provided with 10 seats in election law, then Hindus should be assigned one seat as well,” MP Ahmad Behzad said.
“We demand a seat for our Hindu countrymen, I think that minorities must not be excluded from political rights,” Balkh MP Gulalai Noor Safi said.
At the moment, there are 249 seats in the House of Representatives. If President Karzai’s legislative order was approved, there would be 250.