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Parliament summons AG, Chief Justice

Parliament summons AG, Chief Justice

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On
Jun 22, 2011 - 14:21

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): A majority of the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, the lower house of parliament, voted on Wednesday to summon the attorney general over his involvement with a special election court.

The court – which some members of parliament contend is unconstitutional – is expected to a deliver a verdict within days on the conduct of September’s disputed parliamentary election. The verdict could cast doubt on the legitimacy of some members currently sitting in parliament.

Also summoned were three Supreme Court justices, including the chief justice, all of whose terms of office have expired.

Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq Alako, Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azeemi, Supreme Court Justices Maulviinfo-icon Mohammad Qasim and Zamin Ali Behsudi were asked to appear before the house on Thursday.

Created last year by the Supreme Court, the special election tribunal is a panel of five judges tasked with investigating thousands of complaints about irregularities in the Sept. 18 parliamentary election.

A spokesman for the court has said the judges plan to deliver their final verdict in the next day or two.

Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq Alako had a key role in forming the special tribunal after declaring the parliamentary election’s final result illegal. The president approved the formation of the tribunal.

Abdul Zahir Qadir, a lawmaker from eastern Nangarhar province, said Alako should appear before the house for "creating controversies."

A legislator from western Farah province, Mohammad Sarwar Usmani, supported Qadir's view, saying officials who had a role in the court's creation should called before the house before the tribunal declared its verdict. "The court should be stopped from announcing its decision," he said.

Of 127 MPs present, 125 voted in favour of summoning the AG, the chief justice and the two other judges.

But Aryun Yun, a lawmaker from eastern Nangarhar province, opposed summoning the officials. He said of the vote: “It is a biased decision and has nothing to do with the interests of public.”

There has been no comment yet from either the attorney general’s office or the Supreme Court.

The house had earlier summoned the AG, who in response sent a letter saying that parliament had no authority to summon him. But lawmakers insist they had the right to summon the AG under Article 92 of the constitution.

ma/kg

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