Parliament’s Vote on Ministerial Nominees Must be Made Responsibly

Three new ministerial nominees went to the House of Representatives on Monday, November 16, to win votes of confidence. The nominees included Foreign Ministerial Nominee Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Finance Ministerial Nominee Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, and Interior Ministerial Nominee Masood Andarabi. This is the first group of candidates from the new government to go to the House of Representatives for a vote of confidence, six months after its formation. The other nominees are scheduled to take turns to go to this institution in multi-member groups today and in the coming days to win their votes of confidence.

In order to win the House of Representatives’ vote of confidence, each nominee needs to present his or her future plans to the relevant ministry. Atmar, Arghandiwal, and Andarabi, according to this long-standing tradition, presented their plans, and faced questions from members of the parliament on some parts of their presentation. The three nominees, in turn, explained what they had done since taking over the respective ministries, what the current situation of these ministries was, and what they were going to do in the future.

Going by what was announced, the plans of all three candidates were general in nature, interspersed with sloganeering. Of course, generalization and rhetoric are to some extent to be expected at such occasions. Nominees, on the one hand, have no choice but to generalize due to time constraints, and on the other hand, they cannot avoid raising slogans in order to gain a vote of confidence. This is a long-standing practice that has been inherited from the past, coupled with our society’s fondness for political rhetoric.

In any case, the three ministerial nominees have presented their future plans and are awaiting a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives. Other nominees will come to parliament in turn with similar plans and ideals to win a vote of confidence; but what is very important here is how the House of Representatives deals with these candidates. The Members of Parliament should pay attention to the following points when casting a vote of confidence:

One: The House of Representatives is the manifestation of the people’s will. The vote of the representatives for the nominees is in fact the indirect vote of the people for these nominees. MPs should not forget that they are voting for these candidates on behalf of the people.

Two: MPs must protect the expectations and ideals of the people. This can only be possible when the MPs know what the people want and what their preferences are. It has happened many times that the desired choice of the MPs has not been the desired choice of the people. Therefore, a vote of confidence or rejection for nominees should be subject to the preferences and expectations of the people, not the individual taste and whim of each MP.

Three: Oversight of the work of ministers within the government is one of the duties of the House of Representatives. Therefore, each delegate must make sure that he or she can monitor the credentials of the ministers for whom he or she will give a vote of confidence, before voting in their favor. In the past, it has often been the case that a minister was no longer accountable to the House of Representatives, which is the manifestation of the will of the people, after receiving a vote of confidence. Repetition of this situation will lead to a continuation of the calamities that have befallen the lives of the people so far.

Four: The health of this country depends on the program and activities of government agents. Only those who are loyal to the people and the country and who do not think of abusing government facilities and positions can save the save the ship from being wrecked. The past of the nominees must not be ignored; those who have betrayed or proven ineffective should not run for office.

Five: After the nominees were introduced to the House of Representatives, a lot of gatherings and parties took place. Most of the MPs were either guests of the nominees or vice versa. There have even been rumors that the nominees have made promises to MPs in exchange for a vote of approval, something that is completely against the law and the spirit of serving the people. It is hoped that these parties and promises will not affect the parliament’s vote of confidence for the nominees and that the decision of the MPs will be subject to the will of the public.

It should not be forgotten that the presence of nominees in the House of Representatives to win a vote of confidence is a step forward in forming a cabinet. Unfortunately, some ministries have been run by “supervisors” for many years, and this has naturally had a negative effect on the quality of their services. It is expected that the new cabinet will be formed as soon as possible with responsible decisions by the MPs, thus putting an end to the current chaotic situation.