Published on 27 Feb 2011 at 01:11
Kabul residents have shared their views on this issue with www.bamdad.af:
Naseer, 40, wondered whether he was seeing a Parliament or a wrestling match. “Parliamentarians have not been able to elect a Speaker for a month,” he said. “In my opinion, they should put their ethnic and linguistic interests aside in order to end the current stalemate. Otherwise, they may lead the country into crisis.”
“A number of candidates committed fraud in the election,” said Kamran, 33, of Kabul city. “They used money, personal relations and even ethnic interests to win the election, so how do we expect them to work for the people? They will try to fill their pockets in the next five years rather than serve the people.”
Din Rahman, a shopkeeper in the Shah Sahid area of Kabul, was not optimistic about the new Parliament. “
I am afraid they may hurt people rather than serve them,” he said. “Except for a few, all the Parliamentarians are thieves and smugglers.”
Few people had positive words for the legislature.
“They do not work for the people,” said Wali Khan, a baker. ”They should stop fighting about the Speaker’s seat and learn from other democratic societies. They should try and serve the people.”
Mera Khan, 28, told www.bamdad.af that Parliamentarians should approve laws for the good of the country instead of engaging in internal disputes.
“They should create jobs for the unemployed and build houses for displaced people,” he said. “They should keep their promises so that people believe they elected the right candidates.”
Zardad, 45, a resident of Kabul city, said that Parliamentarians should consider the national interest. “They should unite and not allow warlords to lead them any longer,” he said. “Qanuni and Sayyaf should not stand for the Speaker’s seat.”
Younus Qanuni, the previous Speaker, and Abdul Rassoul Sayyaf, a former commander, have been engaged in a bitter battle for the Speaker’s seat. But according to Zardad, neither man in appropriate for the job.
”They should let new figures run for the Speaker’s seat,” he said. “In my opinion, more problems will be created if this situation continues. It will be like the civil war of 1990s in Kabul which destroyed the city completely.”
Some Kabul residents had advice for the new body.
“I want nothing from the new Parliament,” said Waheed, a taxi driver. “But they should adopt a sound foreign policy with our neighbors so that people will be able to export and import goods easily; otherwise, our people may suffer severe poverty.”
In general, Kabul residents see little hope for the new Parliament.
“There are various political groups with competing interests inside the Parliament, supported by the government or the opposition,” said Khalid, 30. “They may not be able to adopt a united policy over the next five years.”
He added that the current Parliament will face many challenges and is likely to be unsuccessful. Even though the previous Parliament had few positive achievements, it was much better than this one, he noted.
“The former Parliamentarians hit each other with water bottles,” he said. “But in the new Parliament they may shoot each other.”
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