Meetings for, against poll panel verdict held
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Two gatherings, one in support of President Hamid Karzai's decree and the other in opposition to the special election court's verdict, were held in Lashkargah, the capital of southern Helmand province, on Tuesday.
One of the public meetings was called by Abdul Jabbar Qahraman, an MP who is facing disqualification in the wake of the special court verdict. Hundreds of people attended the meeting that backed the Coalition to Support Enforcement of Law. Participants dubbed the special court and its verdict as illegal.
Haji Akhtar Mohammad, a tribal elder, said they had voted in last year's elections under tough conditions, including threats to their lives, to ensure Qahraman's success. He criticised the tribunal for disqualifying Qaharman on the basis of a vote recount.
The elder warned if the court's decision was enforced, people of the province would start opposing the government. As a result, he said, the situation will go out of control.
Another speaker, Haji Haqyar, said courts and judicial organs were marred by corruption and unable to differentiate between right and wrong. High-ranking officials, including President Karzai, had been unable to defend the nation's rights, he said.
Meanwhile, supporters of Mualim Mirwali, who has been declared a winner by the special court, organised a public meeting to voice support for Karzai's decree that handed the Independent Election Commission (IEC) authority to make a decision on the lingering issue.
Hundreds of people, who attended the rally, announced their support for the tribunal, urging the government to implement its verdict at the earliest.
Haji Mohammada Jan, a tribal elder, said that the 62 disqualified candidates had made it to Parliament through money, power, rigging and other irregularities. The court's verdict is 100 percent legal and Islamic, Jan insisted, saying anyone opposed to the decision was an offender.
He said some lawmakers had been involved in insulting the president and accusing him of corruption and the inability to bring peace, stability and prosperity to the country. The elder said Karzai was an elected president and had authority to make a decision in the national interest.
A provincial council member, Haji Abdullah Jan, said they would continue their protest until the disqualified MPs were kicked out of the lower house.
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