KABUL - A new group called "Reformists" has been created in the lower house of parliament in support of the special election court's verdict and President Hamid Karzai's decree. The coalition is said to have 106 members, including 33 who have parted ways with the Coalition to Support Enforcement of Law, a grouping that has asked for the president's resignation.
The anti-Karzai coalition had earlier 137 members, but now 33 of them have joined the new group. On June 23, the tribunal declared 62 members of Parliament as losers and ordered their replacement by losing candidates.
The decision, if implemented, can cause the 62 sittings MPs to vacate their seats. Last week, President Karzai issued a decree handing the 'IEC authority to resolve the lingering row over the election results.
The decree dissolved Afghanistan's special election tribunal -- which Karzai had backed -- and disqualified other government bodies from ruling on the issue, which is being eagerly watched by diplomats in Kabul.
The IEC had certified the original election results last November but will now have to issue a fresh ruling, following months of controversy. The Coalition to Support Enforcement of Law has been staging protests against the decree. As part of the protest drive, the latest rally was staged in Kabul on Tuesday.
On the occasion, the Reformists announced its creation and support to Karzai's decree. MP Alami Balkhi, speaking on behalf of coalition members, said their fundamental objective was to end the ongoing confrontation between the three state pillars.
He claimed Karzai had issued the decree on their demand. He said the order was aimed at resolving the confrontation as soon as possible.
Another member of the new group, Siddiq Ahmad Osmani, a lawmaker from central Parwan province, said they would support the IEC decision if it was in line with the constitution and the electoral law.
Some members of the Coalition to Support Enforcement of Law joined the new parliamentary group. Sher Wali Wardak, who switched sides, said the Coalition to Support Enforcement of Law had been created against the election tribunal.
Now that the tribunal has been dissolved, there is no need for the coalition, according to Wardak.