Nine stripped of Afghan parliament seats

Nine cases were among 62 highlighted by special court investigating allegations of electoral fraud in last year's vote.

    IEC chief Manawi said nine of 62 accused parliamentarians would lose their seats [Reuters]

    Afghan election officials say nine parliamentarians will be removed from their posts because of election fraud allegations.

    The nine are among 62 cases of alleged fraud highlighted by a special court appointed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to investigate widespread allegations of electoral irregularities following last year's parliamentary elections.

    Karzai subsequently tasked the country's Independent Election Commission (IEC) with reviewing and implementing the court's findings.

    "Nine people... from eight provinces are reinstated and nine people will have to leave their seats," Fazel Ahmad Manawi, the chairman of the Independent Election Commission, said on Sunday.

    He said two of those who will lose their seats are from Herat province. The other eight parliamentarians represent Paktika, Badakhshan, Baghland, Samangan, Helmand and Zabul.

    The Afghan parliament has been in limbo since being sworn in last January because of the dispute over whether candidates accused of gaining their seats fraudulently should be kicked out.

    There have since been a string of angry demonstrations on the streets of Kabul by affected politicians and their supporters. Commentators predict the commission's ruling could provoke fresh protests.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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