Ex-spy chief backs MPs, slams Karzai's decree
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan's former spy chief, endorsing the stance of a group of lawmakers, said on Friday that President Hamid Karzai's order regarding the parliamentary election outcome was unlawful.
Meeting under the auspices of the Coalition for the Support of Law, legislators have been voicing their aversion to the presidential directives over the past three days. They have accused the president of trying to undermine Parliament's supremacy.
On Wednesday, the president authorised the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to resolve the lingering dispute over the election results. The IEC will now decide how many MPs should be disqualified due to alleged vote-rigging.
In his decree, Karzai said the commission should "immediately finalise" the issue. The decree also dissolved the special election tribunal and disqualified other government bodies from ruling on the issue.
The five-judge court, set up in December following a series of protests by unsuccessful candidates, announced its judgment on June 23. It ruled 62 of the 249 sitting MPs were not entitled to retain their seats, based on the result of a vote recount ordered under Article 22 of the Electoral Law.
Participating in Friday's session of the coalition, the former National Directorate of Security (NDS) head said no one was authorised under the relevant law to amend the election results. The latest presidential decree concerning the polls was in conflict with the law, he insisted.
Due to problems among state organs, militants were not enthusiastic about peace parleys with the government, Amarullah Saleh believed. "Looking at this mismatch of perceptions, the fighters are emboldened to perpetuate their activities and feel hopeful of winning the conflict."
Fazil Sancharaki, a representative of the Coalition for Change and Hope, also supported the stand of Wolesi Jirga members. He assured the MPs of all-out backing from the alliance, led by former foreign minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.
Head of the coalition Haji Zahir Qadeer told participants no one could force them to implement Karzai's order. If election results were amended, the protest movement would reach the doors of Presidential Palace, he warned.
"We shall not request Karzai to resolve the matter; instead we will ask for his resignation, and bid him farewell," Qadeer added, asking the IEC chief not to implement the decree. The commission chief must cling to his stated position, he said.
Wolesi Jirga member from Herat Muhammad Rafiq Shaheer said they would move a resolution in tomorrow's session of Parliament against the presidential order. The gist of the resolution will be that none of the state organs, including IEC, are authorised to alter election results.
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