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    Qadir elected deputy speaker of Wolesi Jirga

    KABUL (PAN): Lawmaker Haji Abdul Zahir Qadir was elected as first deputy speaker of the Wolesi Jirga, lower house of Parliament, in the administrative board polls on Monday.

    Qadir, belonging to eastern Nangarhar province, won 140 votes, while his rival Nadir Khan Katawazai, from southeastern Paktia, got 46. Of the total 210 votes cast, 24 were declared invalid.

    Running for secretary, Ahmad Behzad won 72 votes, Dr. Jafar Mihdavi 55 and Mohammad Abdohu 52, while 31 ballots were invalidated. None could poll the minimum 106 votes needed for success.

    Likewise, public representative from Parwan, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, got 105 votes and Zaheer Sadat from Panjsher bagged 66, both falling short of the target. Thirty-nine ballots were found invalid.

    In the run for deputy secretary, Qais Hassan from Kabul earned 81 votes and Mehar Farhad Azimi 104. Both failed to bag the minimum number of votes needed.

    A second round of elections will be held on Tuesday between Khawasi and Sadat for secretary, while Qais Hassan and Azimi will compete for deputy secretary.

    Under Article 87 of the Constitution, both houses of Parliament elect from amongst their members a chairman of the administrative board, with first and second deputy speakers and two lawmakers as the board's secretary and deputy for a year.