MPs set to meet Karzai on poll tribunal
KABUL (PAN): A delegation of the Wolesi Jirga, lower house of Parliament, is to meet President Karzai on dissolution of the special election tribunal and deciding acting ministers' fate, officials said on Monday.
During a session of the assembly, members renewed their demand for abolishing the special court, which they called an illegal entity, Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said.
The five-judge court was set up in late December 2010 by the Supreme Court, following a series of protest demonstrations by unsuccessful candidates, to investigate alleged fraud and irregularities in the Sept. 18 ballot.
Recently, the court ruled that 62 of the 249 sitting parliamentarians were not entitled to retain their seats, based on the result of a vote recount ordered under Article 22 of the election law.
However, the verdict was rejected by the election commission and the legislature. Later, a group of lawmakers met President Karzai about the decision. The president told them the election commission had prepared a six-article resolution to resolve the crisis.
The two vice presidents, members of the Supreme Court's High Council, the head of the Constitution Oversight Commission, the justice minister and others are studying the resolution.
Also on Monday, MPs asked Karzai to replace the seven acting ministers in his cabinet. Since his reelection in 2009, the president has thrice referred dozens of ministers-designate to the house for approval, but only 19 were able to win a trust vote.
Ministries of public health, women's affairs, higher education, urban development, information technology and telecommunications, transport and civil aviation and water and energy are being headed by acting ministers.
The lower house also passed a vote of no-confidence against six Supreme Court justices -- Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi and Justices Bahauddin Baha, Abdul Rashid Rashid, Zamin Ali Behsudi, Mohammad Omar Babrakzai and Maulvi Abdul Aziz. It also refused to give Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq a trust vote.
The chief justice was summoned along with other Supreme Court judges and the AG to the Wolesi Jirga over their involvement in creation of the special court. But none of them appeared before Parliament, arguing the legislature had no authority to summon them.
The 15-member delegation would meet Karzai for the last time and urge him to abolish the special tribunal, the speaker said.
Like the previous meetings, today's session would yield no result, said a public representative from southern Kandahar province, Mohammad Naeem Hamidzai Lalai.
None of the MPs demands would be met by the government as long as the special court was not abolished, he believed.
A member from Farah, Humaira Ayubi, shared his opinion, saying the delegation would make a last-ditch effort to find a solution to the problem.
"The president wants to put pressure on us and insult us through the special court. If anyone wants to slight us, we would pay him in the same coin," he said.
The parliamentary team should ask the president to issue orders to the departments concerned for implementation of the decisions taken by the lower house, said an MP from Kabul, Syed Ali Kazimi.
The Wolesi Jirga should pass a draft resolution for the enforcement of its decisions, 2nd Secretary Ahmad Behzad said.
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