Election Dispute Deadlocks Afghan Government

Originally published on July 6, 2011 6:59 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

NPR's Quil Lawrence reports from Kabul.

QUIL LAWRENCE: But President Karzai, who would have lost allies in the Parliament, rejected the results, and created his own tribunal to hear the complaints again. Two weeks ago, the president's tribunal ordered 62 sitting MPs to be replaced with their runners-up. Yesterday, things got out of hand.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHATTER)

LAWRENCE: As the Parliament debated a motion to impeach President Karzai for violating the constitution, one female lawmaker took off her shoe and flung it into the back of another female parliamentarian's head.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD CHATTER)

LAWRENCE: Mohammed Jawadi is a former MP and political columnist.

MONTAGNE: (Through translator) If you look at it, it's created a perfect storm, where all the branches of the government are in a deadlock. And it's a perfect environment for the collapse of the government as a whole.

LAWRENCE: All this as the U.S. has announced a drawdown over the next three years. As Parliament was throwing shoes, visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a gradual British troop withdrawal. Standing calming at his side, President Karzai answered questions at a news conference.

INSKEEP: (Foreign language spoken)

LAWRENCE: Mohammad Mohaqiq is one of them.

MONTAGNE: (Foreign language spoken)

LAWRENCE: Mohaqiq said the anti-Karzai block will push to change Afghanistan's electoral system to strengthen political parties.

MONTAGNE: (Foreign language spoken)

LAWRENCE: MPs and Afghan observers are less assured.

MONTAGNE: (Foreign language spoken)

LAWRENCE: Quil Lawrence, NPR News, Kabul. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.