Barakzai refuses to call off fast unto death
KABUL (PAN): A woman parliamentarian, unseated by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in August, continued her fast unto death in front of the Wolesi Jirga for the fifth consecutive day on Thursday.
Despite President Hamid Karzai's assurance to look into her demand for reinstatement, Samin Barakzai refused to call off her hunger strike. But doctors administered serum to the public representative from western Herat province to prevent her kidneys from failing.
She was among nine sitting Wolesi Jirga members who were disqualified by the election commission, which declared as successful as many candidates previously certified as having lost the parliamentary polls.
On Thursday, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Humayun Aziz took Barakzai from her camp to the Presidential Palace. She returned to the tent after a meeting with President Hamid Karzai.
Barakzai said the president had promised to take up the issue of her reinstatement with members of Parliament's Commission for Supervision of Constitution Implementation and the Supreme Court chief justice on Saturday.
"The president asked me to call off my hunger strike, assuring that my problem will be resolved. But I will continue with my fast unto death or reinstatement as a parliamentarian," she said in a quavering tone.
Relevant authorities are taking a fresh look at her case, according to Barakzai, who said: "If found involved in electoral fraud, I'm ready to return the salaries I have drawn."
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