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Disqualified MPs vow not to leave Parliament

Disqualified MPs vow not to leave Parliament

Aug 21, 2011 - 19:37

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Nine MPs, to be replaced by as many candidates declared winners by the Independent Election Commission (IECinfo-icon), on Sunday said they would not leave Parliament because the constitution does not allow them to do so.

Earlier in the day, IEC officials announced the disqualification of nine sitting MPs in favour of candidates previously certified as having lost the parliamentary election.

The newly-announced winners were from amongst the 62 replacements announced earlier by the special tribunal, IEC Chairman Fazal Ahmad Manawi, said, in a news conference here in Kabul.

Mahmoud Khan Salim Khel replaces Abdul Qadir from Paktia province; Abdu Rauf replaces Abdul Wali Niazai from Badakhshan province; Ashaqullah replaces Muhammad Zahir Ghani from Baghlan province.

Similarly, Ahmad Khan Samangani replaces Mohammad Tahir Zahir from Samangan; Gul Mohammad Pahlawan replaces Shakir Kargar from Faryab; Nisar Ahmad Ghoryani replaces Mohammad Rafiq Shahir; and Rahima Jami replaces Samin Barakzai from Herat.

Mualim Mirwali replaces Massoud Khan Noorzai from Helmand and Hamdullah Tokhi replaces Abdul Habib Andiwal from Zabul.

"I will not go out until the Parliament term is finished. The constitution does not permit anybody to pull me out," Abdul Haib Andiwal, the MP to be replaced by Hamdulah Tokhai, said.

"By making this decision, the IEC showed it can openly violate the law," another MP from the northern Samangan province, Mohammad Tahir Zaheer, a victim of the decision. He accused the IEC chief of under hand deal with the candidates to justify the Supreme Court leadership.

Meanwhile, political analysts warn the IEC move could increase political crisis in the country. "The three state pillars have lost trust on each other and the IEC decision will further deteriorate the situation, analyst Mohammad Younus Fakur said.

"The IEC decision is based on political deals that paved the way for warlords and powerful people to enter Parliament and people having no support being replaced," he said.

He feared the decision could create differences among the sitting MPs and the candidates, who if not allowed to enter the house, could possibly join hands with the Talibaninfo-icon.

"In addition to increase in political crisis, the decision can undermine the special court's verdict," said Shehla Farid, a professor at the political science faculty of Kabul University.

"The main cause behind the current crisis is to benefit these losing candidates, who are powerful people," she said.

Another political analyst, Mohammad Amin Wakman, on the other hand, said the special tribunal decision should have been enforced because the IEC decision could fuel political crisis.

President Hamid Karzai inaugurated the new Parliament on Jan. 26, 2011, ending weeks of a political deadlock.

The Attorney General’s Office had invalidated some poll results. A five-judge special court was set up in late December 2010 to look into allegations of widespread rigging in the vote.

On June 23, the court ruled that rigging had occurred in 33 of Afghanistaninfo-icon’s 34 provinces. It disqualified 62 of the 249 MPs, nearly a quarter of the lower house, on the basis of a vote recount.

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 August 10, Karzai ordered the commission to resolve the lingering dispute between Parliament and losing candidates.



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