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Poll losers want court verdict enforced

Poll losers want court verdict enforced

Aug 23, 2011 - 17:54

KABUL (PAN): Losing candidates, accusing the British Embassy and the United Nations of influencing the Independent Election Commission (IEC), staged a protest in Kabul on Tuesday, demanding implementation of the Special Electoral Court verdict.

The protestors chanted slogans against the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, the British Embassy, IEC and judicial organs of the government during the demonstration that started from the Zarnigar Park and culminated near the UNAMA office.

They called for IEC chief Fazal Ahmad Manawi's prosecution for creating the current political crisis. Asking officials concerned to enforce the special tribunal verdict, they warned of continuing their protest until their demands were met. The protestors also warned of taking extreme steps if their legal rights were denied.

"People will lose confidence in judicial organs if the court judgment is not enforced," said Daud Sultanzoi, one of the protestors. "It can also cause the government to collapse," he warned.

Set up to probe allegations of fraud in last year's parliamentary elections, the court ruled that rigging had occurred in 33 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. It disqualified 62 MPs, nearly a quarter of the 249-seat lower house on the basis of a vote recount.

On August 10, President Hamid Karzai authorised IEC to resolve the dispute over the election results. 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.

On Sunday, the IEC disqualified nine sitting MPs in favour of candidates previously certified as having lost the election. The nine candidates, who will replace as many disqualified MPs, did not participate in the demonstration.

Although, the court-declared winning candidates had previously said they would not sit in Parliament even if a single of their colleague was excluded from the list.



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