Judges, prosecutors back Karzai's decree
KABUL (PAN): A number of provincial court judges and prosecutors on Saturday held gatherings in support of President Hamid Karzai's decree that handed the election commission authority to resolve a lingering dispute over last year's fraud-plagued parliamentary polls.
The gatherings dubbed as unlawful firing of the Supreme Court chief justice, five other justices and the attorney general by the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of parliament.
President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday ordered the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to make a decision on the implementation of the special tribunal's verdict. It ruled 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 Electoral Law.
However, the judgment was rejected by the IEC and the legislature. Later, a group of lawmakers met President Karzai on the decision. The president told them the election commission had prepared a six-article resolution to resolve the crisis.
A day earlier, the poll panel chief said he would announce his decision next week.
On Saturday, gatherings were held and press conferences given in several provinces in support of President Karzai, the Supreme Court and the Attorney General. In southern Kandahar, a public meeting was held at provincial Appellant Court.
The court chief, Maulvi Habibullah Saleh, and the acting prosecutor, Falak Sapi, the Panjwai district chief and tribal elder Haji Fazl Din Agha addressed the participants. Speakers, calling the special court's verdict fair and transparent, announced support for Karzai's decree.
Participates also passed a resolution, asking lawmakers to endorse the court's decision as a mark of respect for the judiciary.
In eastern Nangarhar province, dozens of judges and attorneys attended a meeting that asked Karzai if MPs were not accepting the special election court's decision, 20,500 prisoners be released from jails across the country.
The gathering released a resolution, condemning the legislators who have disputed and ridiculed the verdict. Participants said the MPs who had made it to the house through unfair means were committing another crime by not accepting the ruling.
Judicial organs in the northern zone said that the reaction from lawmakers to Karzai's directive was unjust. The deputy chief of courts, Fazl Rahman Fazli, who is also Balkh Appellant Court chief, told a press conference the special election tribunal's verdict was legal.
He said they condemned the MPs for creating hurdles to the implementation of the decision. He said they supported Karzai on the issue.