KABUL (PAN): The Independent Election Commission (IEC) had granted Parliament membership to nine candidates who have been declared as winners to replace as many sitting disqualified MPs, an official said on Wednesday.
"Previously the rights of these nine candidates were not given accurately, but later an investigation showed they had gained more votes in their constituencies," the IEC chief Fazal Ahmad Manawi told a news conference in Kabul.
On Sunday, the IEC disqualified nine sitting MPs in favour of candidates previously certified as having lost the 2010 parliamentary election.
Mahmoud Khan Salim Khel replaces Abdul Qadir from Paktia province; Abdu Rauf replaces Abdul Wali Niazai from Badakhshan province; Ashaqullah replaces Muhammad Zahir Ghani from Baghlan province.
Similarly, Ahmad Khan Samangani replaces Mohammad Tahir Zahir from Samangan; Gul Mohammad Pahlawan replaces Shakir Kargar from Faryab; Nisar Ahmad Ghoryani replaces Mohammad Rafiq Shahir; and Rahima Jami replaces Samin Barakzai from Herat.
Mualim Mirwali replaces Massoud Khan Noorzai from Helmand and Hamidullah Tokhi replaces Abdul Habib Andiwal from Zabul.
In the past, the IEC was unable to interfere into the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) decisions on legal basis, Manawi said.
"Since the president has authorised the IEC to finalise the issue, we took the step and made a final decision," Manawi said. Under the relevant law, he said, the IEC should assume the ECC's responsibilities two months after results of the election were declared.
He said the nine candidates who had more votes, were able go to the Wolesi Jirga and those who had fewer votes would leave the house. "These nine disqualified MPs are not accused of fraud or rigging, but they have fewer votes," he explained.
President Hamid Karzai inaugurated the new Parliament on Jan. 26, 2011, ending weeks of a political deadlock.
The Attorney General's Office invalidated some poll results. A five-judge special court was set up in late December 2010 to look into allegations of widespread rigging in the vote.
On June 23, the court ruled that rigging had occurred in 33 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. It disqualified 62 of the 249 MPs, nearly a quarter of the lower house, on the basis of a vote recount.