Afghanistan delays parliament opening

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Afghanistan delays parliament opening

The inauguration of Afghanistan’s new parliament has been delayed by a month to February 22, President Hamid Karzai’s office said Wednesday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 19 Jan 2011, 8:50 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 9:39 PM

The announcement came hours after the head of a special tribunal charged with ruling on fraud claims called for a delay of at least a month since the court may throw out some winners or order recounts.

The inauguration had been expected to take place on January 23.

“The president’s office, respecting the demand by the court, delays the inauguration of the parliament until (February 22) of the current year,” Karzai’s office said in a statement.

It insisted that the inauguration would take place on this date “without any further delay”.

In an apparent reference to the court’s work, the statement said that Karzai’s office “demands that all required actions be taken in this period”, adding: “All the government institutions have been instructed to fully cooperate in this regard.”

September’s parliamentary elections were hit by fraud and violence and resulted in a weak showing for the Pashtuns, Afghanistan’s biggest single ethnic group and Karzai’s traditional powerbase.

Electoral authorities disqualified 24 early winners, including allies of the president, and threw out around a quarter of about five million votes cast.

The attorney general’s office later called for the results to be annulled, saying the vote had been marred by massive fraud

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