Karzai accepts lawmakers' plan to end standoff
Afghan men demonstrate against paliamentary election results in Kabul on Sunday.
January 24th, 2011
10:33 AM ET

Karzai accepts lawmakers' plan to end standoff

Afghanistan's parliament will be inaugurated Wednesday, ending a political standoff, President Hamid Karzai's office said Monday.

Humayoun Azizi, Karzai's minister for parliamentary affairs, said the president's decision came after the country's Supreme Court sent word that it would not intercede in the seating of parliament following a deal between Karzai and the parliament over prosecuting crimes arising from last year's elections.

Karzai had refused to swear in the new parliament until an electoral court he established in December can review complaints from losing candidates. He has refused two previous calls by lawmakers to dissolve that body, which members of the National Assembly says is unconstitutional.

The deal, floated by lawmakers on Sunday, says criminal cases stemming from the election will be prosecuted based on Afghanistan's constitution and election laws and that members of parliament would retain their immunity. It drops references to the "special court."

Last week, Karzai's office announced a one-month delay in inaugurating parliamentary members, saying that the special court on election fraud needed more time to investigate complaints from losing candidates. The decision drew criticism from the U.N. mission in Afghanistan and concern from analysts that it could spark ethnic divisions and more violence.

Afghanistan's existing electoral bodies, the Independent Electoral Commission and Election Complaint Commission, have reviewed the results of last year's election. In November, the Electoral Complaint Commission threw out more than 1 million ballots from around 3,000 polling stations because of suspected fraud.

The decision resulted in losses for candidates from Karzai's power base in the largely Pashtun south, where much of the fighting between Taliban guerrillas and NATO and Afghan troops is taking place. The losing candidates argue that their constituents were unable to vote because of violence and intimidation, and that Pashtuns will feel increasingly alienated from the government and turn back to the Taliban.

"The most important thing that is being ignored in these legalistic discussions and political maneuvers is the people of this country. Where do they fit in? Where do they belong?" said Daud Sultanzai, one of about 250 losing candidates who were scheduled to meet Monday with Karzai.

That meeting was canceled, Sultanzai said. They are now expected to meet with the president on Tuesday, he said.

Sultanzai said that the decision to inaugurate parliament "will be very costly for Karzai and for the nation the legitimacy of parliament, in the hearts and minds of the people, is simply not there. The methods for coming to this parliament are not legitimate."

"This parliament will always lack legitimacy and that will create security problems by those who feel they are not adequately represented," he said.

In Sultanzai's home province of Ghazni, all 11 parliament seats went to the province's Hazara minority. In one district, only 3 people out of 100,000 cast their ballots. He blamed forces outside the country for pushing ordinary Afghans "into this corner."

"We are the people of this country," Sultanzai said. "Everyone is interfering - embassies, warlords, drug lords. They are all stepping on the people of this country. We want a voice in this country."

Karzai, whose own 2009 re-election was marred by allegations of widespread fraud, had appeared to concede to lawmakers' demands on Saturday and offered to convene parliament on Wednesday. But under that offer, the inauguration would have taken place only if lawmakers accepted any decision made by the special court, lawmaker Baktash Siawash said Saturday.

Lawmakers countered Karzai by asking him to dissolve the special court and have the nation's Supreme Court investigate the cases. Karzai also rejected that proposal.

CNN's Arwa Damon and Mati Matiullah contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Afghanistan elections • Karzai
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. wegener

    go home to your clan, hamid karzei. enough is enough!
    after 20 years of civil war afghanistan is not a country anymore, but a house of
    foolish soldiers, taliban and alkaida.
    good politicians are rare,but your country is ready to collapse!

    January 28, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. WeRnotAngelsButDEVILS

    Mark,

    I am sure the Afghans do not like to be ruled by US nor by the Taliban. You can fool everyone who has not studied history nor visited Afghanistan. We can't bring women right via colleteral damage that kills women and children(If you ask women in Afghanistan what they want, they want food and security before their rights)They do not want to die giving birth or their children dying before age five and their husbands being unemployed- so that slogan is old to keep the war going- the fantasy that Afghan women will throw their burkas in the name of womens rights is not sellable anymore. Now your other card- As for Hazara, lets ignore the fact their are decendents of Ghangis Kahn who massacred millions of Afghans at the time, they have been subjected to massacre by Taliban just as the Pashtuns were massacred in the thousands by a Hazara leader and Dostum, than again by northern alliance (which were covered up). I will never defend Taliban but you need to put forward complete information and not cherry pick to glorify military presence which 95% of Afghans are against. Now in America where 80% are white ruling 90% of congress and having a black president can cause instability, tea party popin up, unrest and hatred at time of peace...Now we forced an imbalance on the Afghan people in a time of war rigging this election and by buying off the Afghan Election commision, UN, and candidates and using it against Karzai (who is not a faithful PUPPET). We are supporting the minority against majority in hopes of installing a puppet and securing our bases. We are only inviting trouble from CHINA, RUSSIA and elsewhere and our naive soldiers will suffer along with poor Afghans.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • markjuliansmith

      I am well aware if we go back in history one or other of any area on earth you care to pick has visited terror on other. This excuses us from making an observation in one instance of history? If such was the case we would not be able to make any determination one way or the other – does this indeed diminish my argument? At what point is repression not repression because of a previous repression – you are not such a bad cherry picker yourself.

      This is about the notion of what independence actually means I simple thought your version overlooked the reality on the ground even if you have had your nose buried in Afghan soil for ten years with a commensurate pile of books. Actually residing in a place does not necessarily translate into understanding the reality given our own rose colored glasses. Do you measure knowledge by the foot or meter?

      As for inviting trouble from CHINA and RUSSIA you may not have noticed but this is occurring and has for sometime without reference to Afghanistan. Noticed the alliance agreements, provision of submarines by Russia, Russia’s willingness to go along with China INCs regards North Korea, Iran etc.

      China INCs reliance on their text (you may have read it) in dealing with the US “Ultimate War” is the cause of conflict with the US. As long as China INC is focused on gaining territories it does not currently have, continues to produce military hardware clearly not for simply defense purposes and maintains an economic advantage outside accepted norms we all will have trouble not just the US. Imperialist mind set?

      Afghanistan I perceive is really of little consequence in the rivalry. In fact because of the terrorism emanating from the region I believe more cooperation than not. Kazai is playing so many hands I am not sure even he can keep up – I frankly disagree with your assessment of Kazai – in fact Kazai is enabling the very thing you detest and you do not see it. An Indian Foreign affairs person wrote a very good article on this subject.

      Women and children (If you ask women in Afghanistan what they want, they want food and security before their rights) Yes but your cherry picking again what did the children say they wanted you must have seen the survey – education and it was not the Islamic text kind so that they could what?

      The nature of women’s place in society as represented by the Burqa which signifies the nature of their subservience to men’s will and clear restrictions on their ability to participate fully in Society is not a flippant joke if you reflect on the children’s responses alone. Or reflect on the courageous women who have died in Afghanistan to promote women’s rights – some at least require more than being safe behind a wall with a bowl of rice. That’s living? You would willing sacrifice their dreams to your minimalist approach – can you not see why those fellow humans are sacrificing their lives, the worthiness of it and not in the crass naivety you would have us believe.

      Would you aspire for such a poor outcome for your own children and wife?

      I prefer the imperialist version and I am sure the children has they have stated agree.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        mark – they want REVENGE. They want to kill americans and their allies to revenge their women, children and parents killed by them.

        January 27, 2011 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      i disagree with your comment about the Hazaras. Hazaras are one of the most peaceful minority in Afghanistan and suffered from Pashton mejority for centuries.

      When you comments write your real name. We know that you are pushtoon according to your comments.

      January 30, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      i disagree with your comment about the Hazaras. Hazaras are one of the most peaceful minority in Afghanistan and suffered from Pashton mejority for centuries.

      When you comments write your real name. We know that you are pushtoon according to your comments.

      January 30, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. markjuliansmith

    Given their lives for the independent operation of corrupt and suppressive regimes. Keep the ordinary Afghan out of this.

    What level of independence has an individual Afghan ever had – approaching zero – if you read history.

    You want independence under the Taliban – ask the Hazāra what independence meant for them ask women – you really should read the text – rather than skimming across the top of lost lives and hopes with the old rag imperialism.

    January 25, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dindy

    All we need is peace and Bin must repent and give up his bad habit.

    January 25, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. JesuswasLiberal

    Following Afghanistan for years, It makes me sick to my stomach that we as Americans really do have an agenda and an imperialist like mindset against other nations...America was born by standing up against British imperialism and sadly we have adopted the devil's design against a poor Afghan nation has given 3.5 million lives for their independence in the last 30 years. Although we know that not 1 afghan was involved in terrorism inside America and none involved on 9-11. Anyways, now we have engineered unrest and civil war like situation in Afghanistan- makes me sick whiel I think about the Afghan children I have seen facing the misery imposed on them by proxy wars of others. Obama should be ashamed of himself as a human being and knowing his African history while carrying out a plan of destruction against a poor Afghan nation in the name of democracy. The same democracy where our sick strategic planners have engineered an election where we have selected the minority to pit them against the majority- we have the UN head in Afghanistan, Afghan "Indepedendent" election commisiion, and many of the parlimentarians, etc on our payroll. Lets end our fantasy of ruling Afghanistan and having many bases, The majority of Afghanistan are Afghan patriots and they will not sell their nation- Unfortunately, we are setting our self for a trap in the graveyard of empires.

    January 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      Jesus was not liberal but compassionate and forgiving. As for those who ruled Afghanistan on and before 9/11 they were totally opposite and ruled without mercy. The Taliban made Afghanistan into the devil's playground!

      January 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Surely Jesus was a no-global. Remember how he drowe the sellers from the temple ?

        January 25, 2011 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette,IN

        Now what is that supposed to mean? Salerno.

        January 25, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      Now what is that supposed to mean?

      January 25, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. The Prophet Mohammed

    WoW! and I thought our government was good at covering up cover ups! It's like amateur night at Congress compared to Afghanistan!

    January 24, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |