MPs trade barbs over IEC decision
KABUL (PAN): A woman parliamentarian from western Herat province on Saturday threw her scarf over a member of the Reform Coalition for supporting the Independent Election Commission's decision on disqualifying nine lawmakers.
The two parliamentary blocs came to blows in a dispute over the commission's decision. Last Sunday, the panel disqualified nine sitting MPs on the grounds of electoral fraud in the 2010 parliamentary election.
Previously, the MPs emphasised their unity in rejecting the IEC verdict. On Saturday, however, the parliamentary bloc advocating for reforms announced that they would support the IEC move.
Soon after members of the coalition for the support of the enforcement of law, another parliamentary bloc, fought verbally and physically with the pro-reform alliance.
Samin Barakzai, one of the disqualified MPs, threw her black scarf at Maulvi Shahzada Shahid, a member of the reform group, when he announced support for the decision. She said: "Shame on you, you are a traitor."
Soon after this incident, uproar and verbal clashes erupted. As the reformers left, their rivals stayed in Parliament for another 30 minutes.
Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, speaker of the lower house, condemned the scuffles and fighting. He prorogued Parliament until next Saturday.
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