KABUL - President Hamid Karzai may dissolve Parliament in an effort to stand for a third term, the second deputy speaker of Wolesi Jirga said on Monday. However, other lawmakers rejected the allegation as unfounded.
Addressing a news conference, Ahmad Behzad claimed having video and audio documents that showed Karzai wanted to dissolve the legislature and thereby pave the way for his re-election as president.
The Presidential Palace and all ministries were making efforts to help Karzai realize his goal, Behzad said. "Karzai's struggle is about his political survival and installing a dictatorial government that would not allow anyone to hold him responsible."
Karzai, who has been in the saddle for a decade, said on Thursday that he would not stand for a third term. "Afghanistan's constitution does not allow the president to run for a third time."
His office said that Karzai, who became the first elected president of Afghanistan in December 2004 for a five-year term, made the remarks at a meeting with lawmakers.
In response to a query, the deputy speaker said: "No doubt, if the president's election is illegitimate, it will have negative effects on all other organs of the state."
However, another legislator described the deputy speaker's statement as his personal view. "Behzad has no right to give a news conference on behalf of the Wolesi Jirga," said Aryan Yoon.
The public representative from eastern Nangarhar province went on to accuse Behzad of receiving guidelines from Iran and other countries.
An MP from Baghlan, Shukriya Issakhel, stoutly endorsed Yoon's views. She denounced the deputy speaker's utterances about Afghanistan's political system. "If the president has no legitimacy, then the whole government that he heads becomes unlawful," the parliamentarian remarked.