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Lawmakers again ask Karzai to stand down

Lawmakers again ask Karzai to stand down

Aug 13, 2011 - 18:38

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon members, who continued their sit-in for the third consecutive day on Saturday, asked President Hamid Karzai either to accept the rule of law or stand down.

On Wednesday, the president authorised the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon) 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 2010 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.

Replacing 62 successful parliamentarians with losing candidates is not the issue; the real concern is that the president is violating rules and regulations, said a member of the Coalition for the Enforcement of Law.

Abdul Qayyum Sajjadi, the MP from southern Ghazni province, vowed not to let anybody violate the constitution. The protest would not remain confined to the assembly, it would grow into a countrywide movement, the legislator warned.

Soon after the decree, the 137-member coalition warned of staging a sit-in on the national assembly lawn until Karzai either accepted the rule of law or resigned.

"On the one hand, Karzai wants the Talibaninfo-icon to accept the constitution and violates it himself on the other," remarked Ahmad Khan, an MP from the southern Kandahar province, Karzai's home province.

"Karzai should realise that his government cannot govern the country and he should resign," he said, adding the nation would have to overthrow the government if the political crisis was not resolved.

No institution could implement the decree against the parliamentarians' will, said the head of the coalition, Zahir Qadir. 


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