[May 17] Afghanistan parliament completed, U.S. adds Huawei to Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List, Azerbaijani Speaker meets Czech Republic counterpart
PHOTO: Muhammad Sadiq(EPA-EFE). An Afghan woman casts her vote during the parliamentary elections in Kandahar on October 27, 2018.
On Wednesday, May 15, the new Members of Parliament (MPs) of Kabul and Paktia provinces – whose results were announced months after other provinces – took the oath at a ceremony in the Presidential Palace. Based on the law, the parliament should have been inaugurated in March, but it was delayed to April 26, 2019, due to controversies around the October parliamentary elections.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Ashraf Ghani sharply criticized the former electoral bodies over delay in announcing results of the elections, and said it was a crisis in its nature. “Unfortunately, it was a ‘mess’. Having the results of the elections delayed for seven months was unprecedented in the democratic systems,” Ghani said.
Talking about the problems, President Ashraf Ghani said now the parliament has been completed and that the MPs should retain the House’s reputation. “Today the parliament is completed, and I congratulate all the people. You should regain people’s trust,” Ghani added.
President Ghani also pointed to the problem of representation in Ghazni because of the lack of elections there, and said that the election commissions should find a solution for filling the gap until September 28 in which Ghazni elections will be held along the presidential elections.
The Independent Election Commission announced Kabul parliamentary election results on Tuesday, May 14. Based on the announcement, 24 men and 9 women have gained the highest votes and have been elected as MPs.
With the 17th Wolesi Jirga (the lower house of bicameral parliament) complete, the new MPs held a special session on Thursday to elect the House Speaker and the administrative board.
Four MPs including Mir Rahman Rahmani, Kamal Naser Osuli, Mirwais Yasini and Omar Nasir Mujadadedi competed for the seat of the House Speaker.
At least 242 MPs were present at the session, and from the four candidates, Rahmani got 75 votes, Osuli 69 votes, Yasini 59 and Mujaddedi got seven votes. The two last candidates were removed from the list and in the next round, Osuli and Rahmani will compete for the position.
The election of the House Speaker is likely to be conducted on Saturday, like MP Qazi Nazir Hanafi proposed, to allow time for MPs Rahmani and Osuli to campaign for the post.
PHOTO: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images. A member of Huawei's reception staff walks in the foyer of a building at the company's Bantian campus in April in Shenzhen, China.
On Wednesday, May 15, the Trump administration declared a national emergency over threats against US technology. The move, done via executive order, authorized the Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in consultation with other top officials, to block transactions that involve information or communications technology that “poses an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States”, barring U.S. firms from using telecom equipment made by companies deemed to pose a national security risk.
After the order, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the addition of Huawei Technologies and its affiliates to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Entity List, requiring U.S. businesses to acquire a license to sell or transfer technology to Huawei. That could make it harder for Huawei to do business, as it depends on some U.S. suppliers for parts.
On May 16, Huawei released an official statement which said “Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the US lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of US companies and consumers.” Huawei also said that it is ready and willing to engage with the US government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security.
For instance, earlier on Tuesday Huawei chairman Liang Hua said that Huawei is willing to sign a “no-spy” agreement with countries including Britain. “We are willing to sign ‘no-spy agreements with governments, including the UK government, to commit ourselves, to commit our equipment to meeting the no-spy, no back-door standards,” Liang told reporters.
Many governments, the British parliament included, are debating whether to let Huawei roll out its next-generation mobile service. The private Chinese firm currently has the most advanced and cheapest 5G capacities in the world. But the United States has warned its allies that it might have to limit security and intelligence sharing with the countries that allow China to play a significant role in 5G networks.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said that network security remained of utmost importance to the Western military alliance in a business conference, and conceded that all NATO members had the right to make their own decisions about China and 5G, adding that “we are going to make sure our networks are safe”.
The U.S. has taken a number of steps against the firm in recent months. In January, the Department of Justice announced a slew of charges against two units of Huawei for stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile USA. Both Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese technology firm, were barred from most U.S. government contract work by the 2019 Defense Authorization Act. Last December, Canadian authorities arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou to serve an extradition request from the U.S. government, alleging Huawei of wire fraud, obstructing justice, conspiring to launder money and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by doing business with sanctioned Iran
Hankookilbo, the Korea Herald and Maeil Business Newspaper
PHOTO: Azerbaijan, Czech Republic discuss inter-parliamentary relations on May 16, 2019.
Speaker of Azerbaijan’s Parliament Parliament Ogtay Asadov has met with President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Radek Vondracek to discuss relations between legislative bodies of the two countries. The two discussed economic, trade relations and noted the significance of reciprocal investments.
Asadov expressed confidence that the Czech delegation`s visit would contribute to the development of relations between the two countries and parliaments. He affirmed Azerbaijan`s interest in developing relations with the Czech Republic in all areas.
Vondracek pointed out the availability of great potential for expanding relations between Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic. He hailed inter-parliamentary cooperation, stressing the role of inter-parliamentary friendship groups.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev also met with Czech Speaker of Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondracek. The President noted that bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Czech Republic are developing successfully and described the level of political ties as good.
Recalling the visit of President of the Czech Republic to Azerbaijan, President Aliyev said that the expansion of inter-parliamentary ties contributed to the development of the relations. He underscored prospects for economic cooperation and the necessity of enhancing relations in economic, trade, and investment spheres, expressing confidence that the visit will be fruitful and contribute to the strengthening of the bilateral ties.
Czech Speaker Vondracek extended the greetings of President of Czech Republic Milos Zeman to Azerbaijani President Aliyev, and said that there is Czech-Azerbaijani inter-parliamentary friendship group representing various parties at the Parliament of the Czech Republic. He praised ongoing reforms in Azerbaijan, and said that Czech investors show great interest in Azerbaijan.
He hailed the successful development of relations between Azerbaijan and Czech Republic both in the bilateral format and within the European Union and emphasized the importance of intensifying the work of the joint intergovernmental commission.