Wolesi Jirga disqualifies six Supreme Court judges
The Wolesi Jirga asked for the formation of a special court to try those individuals.
Of the 185 members of parliament who were present at Saturday’s session, 181 cast votes of no confidence against Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi and five other justices, Bahauddin Baha, Abdul Rashid Rashid, Zamin Ali Behsudi, Mohammad Omar Babrakzai and Maulvi Abdul Aziz.
With this no confidence vote, the lower house continued to defy the authority of the special election court that eviscerated parliament’s ranks last week by declaring that nearly 1 in 4 sitting members of the Wolesi Jirga were disqualified from their positions.
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 last year’s parliamentary election. Many members of parliament maintain that the formation of the special election court was unconstitutional, and that the Independent Election Commission has the sole authority to investigate fraud.
The special election court ordered a vote recount under Article 22 of Afghan election law and ruled on Thursday that fraud disqualified 62 of 249 parliamentarians. Two secretaries of the parliament and the former acting speaker were among those disqualified.
In advance of the ruling, the Wolesi Jirga on Wednesday summoned Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq Alako over his involvement with the special election court. When Alako said that parliament had no authority to make such a demand and refused to appear before them, and the lower house passed a vote of no confidence against him.
Wolesi Jirga Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said on Saturday that parliament had the authority to try the Supreme Court judges based on Article 127 of Afghanistan’s constitution.
The article states that “when more than one-third of the members of the Wolesi Jirga demand the trial of the Chief Justice or a member of the Supreme Court due to a crime committed during the performance of duty, and the Wolesi Jirga approves of this demand by a majority of two-thirds votes, the accused is dismissed from his post and the case is referred to a special court.”
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