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MPs stick to their guns on special court

MPs stick to their guns on special court

Apr 12, 2011 - 18:34

KABULinfo-icon(PANinfo-icon): Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members on Tuesday renewed their stance not to accept any decision of a special court looking into allegations of fraud in last year's parliamentary election.

The lawmakers reiterated their position during the lower house session a day after President Hamid Karzai told a press conference in Kabul that the Constitution was clear on the issue.

Asked whether he would dissolve the panel in line with Parliament's decision, Karzai said he had no authority to intervene in a case being investigated by the attorney general and the Supreme Court.

A legislator from northern Balkh province, Farhad Azimi, said there was no change in their stance on the court, calling it "an illegal body".

"We have long been saying that bringing this court into being is against the law. Its creation by the judiciary amounts to interference in affairs of the Independent Election Commission," he added.

In response to the query what their reaction would be if their calls for dissolving the special court were ignored, the legislator said: "Parliament is expected to take a unanimous decision on the matter."

Another MP from Kabul, Abdul Hafiz Mansoor, said that the president had agreed to dissolve the panel during meetings with lawmakers. "Initially, Karzai was silent, but later he agreed to disband the tribunal."

He accused the president of backing out of his promise and called for an early dissolution of the court. He said it was responsibility of the Electoral Complaints Commission to probe into fraud cases. The special court had no authority to interfere, he insisted.

Gul Badshah Majeedi, a public representative from southeastern Paktia province, held a similar view. He said the court's creation was evidence of the government's interference in the election process.

He said the tribunal had no legal status and all its decisions would be illegal. "The court has been set up in violation of Articles 29, 78 and 127 of the Constitution," he claimed.


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