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President to decide fate of poll tribunal: speaker

President to decide fate of poll tribunal: speaker

Jul 26, 2011 - 18:29

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): President Hamid Karzai would soon announce his final decision on the special election tribunal, denounced by lawmakers as illegal, the Parliament speaker said on Tuesday.

The president held out the assurance to a 16-member parliamentary delegation, which met him on Monday night and demanded dissolution of the special court.

The five-judge court was set up in late December 2010 by the Supreme Court, following a series of protests 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.

On Tuesday, Speaker Ibrahimi told the lower house the MPs shared their concerns with the president with regard the special court. Karzai promised the delegation that he would soon announce his final decision, he said.

Karzai told the legislators he would take necessary steps to resolve all issues in the supreme national interest and would not let the country slip into crisis, he said. "We should try to find a solution and should not allow foreigners to manipulate us," Ibrahimi quoted the president as saying.

A public representative from central Bamyan province, Fikori Behishti, said: "We are concerned the court may not be dissolved tomorrow."

There was a dispute over the court among the three state pillars, said an MP from Baghlan, Mohammad Zahir Ghanizada. The president could end the crisis by dissolving the tribunal, he concluded.



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