Unseated MPs barred from parliament
KABUL (PAN): In an unexpected move, security forces on Saturday barred nine unseated Wolesi Jirga members from entering the house to allow as many newly declared winners of last year's parliamentary election to replace them in light of a decision of the election commission.
The Independent Election Commission last month unseated nine MPs in favour of as many poll candidates previously certified as having lost the parliamentary election.
The nine poll contenders had won more votes compared to the unseated lawmakers, the commission has announced. The IEC decision came into effect on Saturday, days after Aug. 21, 2011, when the IEC announced nine sitting MPs as disqualified in favour of as many candidates
At around 11am, a group of parliamentarians named "the coalition for support of law" tried to help the nine disqualified MPs enter the house, but police thwarted their move by establishing security cordon around the parliament.
Hundreds of security forces surrounded the parliament compound to forcefully replace the unseated MPs.
The move comes after President Hamid Karzai failed to resolve the lingering dispute with the majority-members of the parliament opposing any changes to the house.
Lawmakers have been divided over the dispute. A number of MPs on Saturday welcomed the change, escorting seven of the nine newcomers to the house, while dozen others vowed not to enter the building without the unseated MPs.
Karzai inaugurated the new Parliament on Jan. 26, 2011, ending weeks of a political deadlock. The Attorney General’s Office invalidated some poll results. A five-judge special court was set up in December 2010 to look into allegations of vote rigging.
On June 23, the court ruled that rigging had occurred in 33 of Afghanistan’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.
On Wednesday, August 24, the commission granted Parliament membership to the nine candidates who were declared winners. However, the Wolesi Jirga rejected the decision as illegal and unconstitutional.
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