House of Elders (Afghanistan)

The House of Elders or Mesherano Jirga (Pashto: د افغانستان مشرانو جرګه), was the upper house of the bicameral National Assembly of Afghanistan, alongside the lower House of the People (Wolesi Jirga). It was effectively dissolved when the Taliban seized power on 15 August 2021.[2] The Taliban did not include the House of Elders and several other agencies of the former government in its first national budget in May 2022. Government spokesman Innamullah Samangani said that due to the financial crisis, only active agencies were included in the budget, and the excluded ones had been dissolved, but noted they could be brought back "if needed".[3]

House of Elders

مشرانو جرگه
Mesherano Jirga Seal.png
Type
Type
History
Founded1931[1]
Disbanded15 August 2021
Structure
Seats102 members
Authorityadvisory and limited veto power; no law-making power
Elections
One-third by district councils,
One-third by provincial councils,
One third nominated by the president
Meeting place
Afghan parliament building 2015.jpg
Kabul
Website
mj.parliament.af (dead)
(15 August 2021 archive)

The House of Elders primarily had an advisory role rather than a maker of law.[citation needed] However, it does have some veto power.[citation needed]

The House of Elders has 102 members. One-third (34) were elected by district councils (one per province) for three-year terms, one-third (34) by provincial councils (one per province) for four-year terms, and one-third (34) were nominated by the president for five-year terms. However, elections for the district councils were not held in the 2005 parliamentary elections. As such, each provincial council also selected one of its elected members to temporarily hold seats in the house until district council elections were held. Half of the presidential nominees had to be women, two representatives from the disabled and impaired and two from the Kuchis.[4]

SpeakersEdit

Speakers of the Mesherano Jirga since establishment in 1931

Name Entered office Left office Notes
Mirza Abdul Latif Khan 1931 1933 [1]
Mohammed Ata Khan 1934 1936 [1]
Mir Ata Mohammad Khan 1937 1939 [1]
Mir Ata Mohammad Khan 1940 1942 [1]
Mir Ata Mohammad Khan 1943 1945 [1]
Fazi Ahmad Khan Mojadadi 1946 1948 [1]
Fazi Ahmad Khan Mojadadi 1949 1951 [1]
Fazi Ahmad Khan Mojadadi 1952 1954 [1]
Fazi Ahmad Khan Mojadadi 1955 1957 [1]
Hafiz Abdul Ghafar 1958 1960 [1]
Abdul Hadi Dawi 1961 1964 [1]
Abdul Hadi Dawi 1965 1968 [1]
Abdul Hadi Dawi 1969 1972 [1]
Dissolved 1973 1988
Mahmood Habibi 31 May 1988 1992 [5][6]
Not functioning 1992 2005
Sibghatullah Mojaddedi December 2005 29 January 2011 [7]
Fazel Hadi Muslimyar 29 January 2011 15 August 2021 [7]

Reserved seats for womenEdit

Having been absent from the decision-making process for centuries, Afghan women for the first time entered the political arena in 2001, after the overthrow of Taliban. With the introduction of reserved seats provision in the 2002 Emergency Loya Jirga, when ten percent of 1600 seats were reserved for women, the ground was laid for participation of Afghan women in parliament.

The new 2004 constitution secured reserved seats for women and minorities in both houses of parliament. In the 2005 parliamentarian elections, Afghan women won 89 seats. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in 2009 they held 67 seats (27.7%) in the House of the People and 22 (21.6%) in the House of Elders. This representation is above the worldwide average of 18.5% and above the average of the United States at 16.8% for the House and 15.4% for the Senate.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "A glance of the History of Assemblies of Afghanistan" (PDF). Wolesi Yirga. 25 January 2019.
  2. ^ Ziar Khan Yaad (14 September 2021). "Fate of Afghanistan's National Assembly Unclear". TOLOnews. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  3. ^ Eqbal, Saqalain (17 May 2022). "The Taliban Dissolves the Human Rights Commission and Five Other Key Departments, Declaring them "Unnecessary"". The Khaama Press Agency. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  4. ^ Article 84 of the Afghan Constitution.
  5. ^ "Central Asia". Area Study Centre (Central Asia), University of Peshawar. 19 February 1996 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ https://crossasia-journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/index.php/iaf/article/download/105/100[bare URL PDF]
  7. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit