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    اداره امور

    Karzai accuses outsiders of creating political crisis

    KABUL(PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday told losing candidates that he agreed to the new Parliament's inauguration in order to end the political standoff that could spark a constitutional crisis.

    A group of disgruntled candidates met the president at the Presidential Palace and asked him not to open the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of parliament, before a special court investigating election fraud cases could deliver its final verdict.

    Karzai agreed on Saturday to convene the Parliament-elect under pressure from winning candidates and Western diplomats, after tense discussions.

    Losing candidates who met the President called the Sept. 18 parliamentary election as fraud and rigged, a statement issued from the President's Office said.

    The president accused "foreign elements" of creating a crisis in Afghanistan. "A number of foreign elements questioned our decision and began creating crisis in the country by telling the winning candidates to open the national assembly without the president and told them we are with you," Karzai was quoted in the statement as saying.

    Karzai initially delayed the opening of the new parliament, slated for January 23, for more than a month and eventually agreed to preside over a new Wednesday opening after lawmakers decided to go ahead without him.

    "In order to salvage Afghanistan from foreign interference, we decided to meet winner candidates and persuaded them to accept special court's decisions after the parliament is inaugurated," Karzai said

    One of the unsuccessful candidates, Daud Sultanzoy, told the president that the one-instance special court was created after it was proposed by the Supreme Court and approved by the head of the state.

    It was agreed with disgruntled candidates that the Parliament would be opened after the court handed down its final verdict, he said, accusing some of winning candidates of bravely committing irregularities in the election to make their way to the Parliament.

    Another candidate said the special court should have been given the time until it could reach a final decision.

    Another candidate, Najeebullah Mujahid, asked the president to defend the rights of the countrymen and don’t let 'drug smugglers' enter the Parliament.

    He insisted IEC chief, Fazal Ahmad Manawi, should not be allowed to play with the destiny of people.

    Haji Farid, another losing candidate, asked Karzai to resign and apologise to the nation for caving in to the pressure from powerful individuals.  

    "I have been thinking since last ten years that you are our president, but you are an oppressed man and unable to defend your decrees, how would you defend the people," Farid was quoted as saying in the statement.

    "I thought Afghanistan is the country, where Afghans make decisions on their own about their lives, but now I realise that it is US ambassador, Eikenberry and United Nations Special Representative to Afghanistan Staffan de Mistura's who run our country," he told the president at the meeting.

    ma/frm