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    MPs fail to end 2n deputy speaker election deadlock

    KABUL (PAN): Parliament once again on Saturday failed to break a stalemate over the election of its second deputy speaker, prompting a runner to walk out of the race.

    Lawmakers Mohammad Arif Shah Jahan, Shakila Hashimi, Namatullah Ghafari and Mohammad Nazir Ahmadzai ran for the slot, with the voting going to a second round.  

    In the first round of voting today, Jahan mustered 62 ballots, Hashimi 13, Ghafari 66 and Ahmadzai 45. High vote winners -- Ghafari and Jahan – failed to obtain the required number of votes – 101-- in the second round that started at around 12:20 pm.

    Jahan secured 71 votes and Ghafari 86 from the 188 MPs present.

    Jahan denied to stand in the third round of voting after a number of lawmakers suggested his rival, Ghafari, to be declared the winner.  

    But others said the voting should continue until a candidate obtains the required number of votes in accordance with the Wolesi Jirga’s internal procedure code.

    The house members agreed to take a final decision on the deadlock in the assembly’s general meeting taking place on Sunday.   

    Haji Abdul Zahir Qadir from Nangarhar has been elected as first deputy speaker of the Wolesi Jirga, lawmaker from Parwan, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, as secretary and Farhad Azimi as deputy secretary on Jan. 23.

    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.

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