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The Killid Group
Karzai Mum on New Faces in ParliamentWritten by Mohammad Reza Gulkohi
Saturday, 27 August 2011 12:54
The Independent Election Commission's (IEC) decision to remove nine MPs in order to end the impasse in Parliament has not pleased everyone.
Fazl Ahmad Manavi, chairman of the IEC, has arrived at that conclusion seemingly without any pressure from President Hamid Karzai, parliament or candidates disqualified on the grounds of electoral misconduct in elections to the Wolesi Jirga last year.
Both the nine expelled MPs and seven previously losing candidates who have not been reinstated despite a Supreme Court order have lodged very strong protests. How come Manavi had said earlier that "it seems impossible to bring any change into September 18, 2010 parliamentary elections."
Shaker Kargar, who was made to step down and hand his seat as MP from Faryab province to Gul Mohammad Pahlawan, has demanded he "should be taken to court for his decision that goes against the constitution and election laws."
In an interview with Killid he said the new result for last year's Wolesi Jirga election would do nothing to break the deadlock in Parliament. Had he been convinced otherwise he would have stepped aside on his own, Kargar added.
On August 21, nine parliamentarians were replaced with nine new MPs. This was far less than the 62 declared winners by the Special Court, and confirmed both by the Supreme Court and by Karzai.
There are now potentially four disgruntled groups who may or may not decide to continue their protests, says the Afghan Analysts Network (AAN).
The only woman to be removed, Simin Barakzai, however believes the IEC chairman has played an impartial role because "he is accountable to the nation."
Will the new result for the parliamentary election resolve the deadlock?
It is hard to see how the 62 MPs grouped under the banner of the Parliament's Support for the Law Coalition will back down from a confrontation.
Haji Zaher Qadir who heads the coalition threatened that they would "not allow even one of the winning candidates to step in the Lower House." The IEC decision has been dismissed as illegal by the coalition.
Haji Ragiq Shahir, MP from Herat province who has to give up his seat to Nesar Ahmad Ghoriyani, says the coalition will take recourse to legal means to protect their position. The IEC should have arrived at a decision according to election laws, he says. "This is not fair process as per Afghan election system," he declares.
Winner takes all
A group of parliamentarians, called the Reformists, have promised to play by the constitution. Shir Wali Wardak, a member, says, "we (Reformists) will try the best to see whether or not this decision was taken according to the constitution and election laws? If yes we would accept it."
Some Afghan political observers think Karzai's silence on the issue is revealing. He is not neutral, says Sayed Ali Rezvani, editor in chief of Eqtedar-e-Mellie. "The Afghan president may be waiting for the first reactions before he comes out in support or against the different positions."
According to another expert, Zia Danesh, instead of being partisan, the president may support the IEC in order to put to rest any further arguments about who won last year's election.