Afghanistan » Politics

Requesting Loya Jirga and the current situation in the country

Published Date: November 8, 2015

In the last few months, demands to hold Loya Jirga are increased. However, in the last week, members of Mashrano Jirga (the Senate) and Jihadi Council urged the government to hold Loya Jirga to solve the issues faced by the country. But, there are differences between Jihadi Council and members of Mishrano Jirga over the type of Loya Jirga.

The question is whether the government would hold a Loya Jirga or not? And whether the Loya Jirga will move the country towards the right path or not? These are the issues and questions which are analyzed and answered in this analysis.

The promised Loya Jirga

The National Unity Government (NUG) was established on 30th September, 2014, due to disputes over election results between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah. According to the second article of this agreement both leaders accepted to hold a Loya Jirga within two years of the establishment of the NUG in order to amend the constitution.

However, with 13 months have passed, still neither the Loya Jirga is held and nor Loya Jirga have been called to amend the constitution. It is why some members of Mishrano Jirga is calling the government to hold a Loya Jirga to amend the constitution from one hand and on the other hand it wants the government to clear its internal and foreign policies.

The current situation and the requests of holding Loya Jirga

For the last 13 months, the country is moving towards crises. The insecurities increases day by day, even a province fell to Taliban for few days and according to a research Taliban have total control over 29 districts in Afghanistan[1].

The economy is also in the recession. According to Afghanistan’s Investment Support Agency (AISA), in the first nine months of 2015, investments in the country have decreased by 26 percent in a comparison with 2014[2]. In addition, the unemployment has reached to its highest peak and the currency has also lost its value more than ever.

Furthermore, the younger brain drain is another concern of NUG. According to UN refugee agency (UNHCR) report, in the first eight months of 2015, roundabout 120000 afghan sought asylums in 44 Industrial countries[3].

The failure of Peace process initiated by Afghan government also drowned the country towards the deadlock. Some groups and members of Jihadi Council due to these reasons and by remaining far from the power are requesting Loya Jirga, because the only way to break the deadlock is the calling of Loya Jirga and the making of interim government.

What kind of Loya Jirga?

In the current scenario, the NUG neither can call the constitutional Loya Jirga and nor can call upon the traditional Loya Jirga, because, the holding of constitutional Jirga isn’t possible in the current time period. According to the constitution, Loya Jirga is composed of the members of Parliament and provincial and district council’s heads, but, yet the elections are to be conducted in this regard. In addition, the parliamentary elections are also necessary because the legal duration of the current parliament has been expired and the new elections didn’t take place.

The NUG leaders agree to hold a constitutional Loya Jirga as it was promised by NUG leaders. It is hereby, CEO Abdullah Abdullah assured that the gathering (Loya Jirga) will definitely be held to amend the constitution and reform the country’s electoral system[4]. But it didn’t specify its date.

On the other hand, the members of Jihadi Council requests traditional Loya Jirga to solve the current crises. Even though, the traditional Loya Jirga can be held by Presidential decree, because according to 65th article of Afghan Constitution the President can refer to the will of Nation in important national, political, social and economic affairs. But, the president isn’t bound to decisions taken by traditional Loya Jirga. Looking to the current scenario, the government wouldn’t call a traditional Loya Jirga whose main aim would be to topple the current government and making a way for interim government. In this regard, the CEO Abdullah Abdullah has also emphasized that the besides those who fight the government, there are people in political circles that want to overthrow the government and except Constitutional Loya Jirga, no other assembly is acceptable[5].

However, there are three scenarios regarding traditional Loya Jirga:

  • The Government will not hold any other Loya Jirga, except Constitutional Loya Jirga
  • If the pressures from members of Jihadi Council increases the government might give them some share in the power
  • Moreover, it is also possible that the government will call the traditional Loya Jirga as former President Hamid Karzai had called regarding Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) solely to be not bound to its decisions.

Will Loya Jirga Solve the Problems?

Although, the policy of the NUG is that both leaders would not accept any other Jirga without the Constitution Loyal Jirga agreed between them, but still can calling a Loya Jirga solve the problems and guide the country to the right direction?

Analysts believe that the intention behind requesting a Loya Jirga by Jihadi Council and Jihadi leaders is to overthrow the National Unity Government to create an interim Government instead of it. Overthrowing the existing government and making a new interim government consisted of former Jihadi leaders and some other characters, cannot break the deadlock that the country is facing because the only way out of the current deteriorated situation is a reasonable and practical process to bring peace to the country. Calling a Loya Jirga, making an interim government, sharing power with those who have remained far from government or every other effort cannot take the country out of the existing situation. However, it will trivialize the role of political tolerance and democracy in the country.

[1] See online:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/10/taliban-controls-or-contests-scores-of-districts-in-afghanistan.php

[2] See online: http://www.bbc.com/persian/afghanistan/2015/10/151031_k05_afghanistan_aisa_investment_decreased

[3] See online: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/refdaily?pass=52fc6fbd5&id=562dc8155

[4] See online:
http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/22192-abdullah-assures-to-convene-loya-jirga

[5] See online:
http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/22192-abdullah-assures-to-convene-loya-jirga

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