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Afghan IEC removes 9 lawmakers from House, qualifies 9 protester candidates

(Xinhua)

08:39, August 22, 2011

KABUL, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Sunday announced the disqualification of nine presently lawmakers and introduced nine protester candidates to the 249-seat Afghan parliament.

The IEC chief Fazil Ahmad Manawi told reporters in a press conference on Sunday that IEC made the decision based on an appeal court's findings.

Manawi also said two of those who will be unseated from Wolesi Jirga or Lower House of parliament are from western Herat province. The others are from Faryab, Paktia, Badakhshan, Baghland, Samangan, Helmand and Zabul province.

The second Afghan parliamentary election was held on Sept. 18 last year and the final decision was announced on Nov. 24, 2010.

However, the electoral crisis over the final election outcome started when the attorney general's office launched a separate investigation into allegations of ballot manipulation, a move that eventually led to the setting up of the special court by President Hamid Karzai.

The Afghan parliament has been in indeterminate state for months because of the electoral fraud charges.

The special court on June 23 announced its decision and called for the removal of 62 sitting lawmakers, saying they won their seats through fraud.

The latest announcement by IEC appears to lead more political uncertainty in the insurgency-hit country as the lawmakers have already said that no one could bring changes in the final results of last year parliamentary election.

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