Afghan parliamentary election, 2010
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The Afghan parliamentary election, 2010 to elect members of the House of the People (Wolesi Jirga) took place on 18 September 2010. The Afghan Independent Election Commission - established in accordance with the article 156 of the Constitution of Afghanistan for the purpose of organizing and supervising all elections in the country - postponed the poll from its original date of 22 May to September 18.
The results were delayed on several occasions, but were finalized on October 31. The Taliban issued a direct threat to all those involved in the House of the People elections.
The campaign period kicked off on June 23 and ran until September 16. On June 23, 2010, the full list of candidates was announced; 2,577 candidates filed to run, 405 of them women.
On July 7, 2010, the Electoral Complaint Commission announced that it had disqualified 36 candidates because of ties to illegal private militias. However, according to critics "the net caught a few small fish while the sharks swam around it". Sima Samar, who heads the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said she was concerned that there were alleged war criminals on the candidate lists.
"We urge people not to participate in the election. Everything and everyone affiliated with the election is our target -- candidates, security forces, campaigners, election workers, voters are all our targets," said Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid.
Three candidates were killed during the campaign period while there have been several attempts on the lives of others, some of which have resulted in the deaths of campaign workers.
On August 18, Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission announced it would open 5,897 polling centers for the 2010 Wolesi Jirga elections. This is 938 fewer than the original plan to have 6,835 centers opened.
The decision on whether to open or close polling centers is a matter of debate but the IEC says decisions on the polling centers was made in conjunction with the country’s security agencies and on September 5 said it was too late to open more; a view supported by the United Nations and Democracy International.
On September 8, the IEC said a further 81 polling centers would remain shut in eastern Nangarhar province. This brought to 1,019 centers closed, which is almost 15 per cent of the preliminary list of 6835.
The voting system used for House of the People elections is Single Non-Transferable Voting (SNTV). The system allows for candidates with as little as less than one percent of the first-choice vote to be elected. There has been calls to review the use of SNTV as it impedes the development of political parties and prevents fair and accurate representation of Afghanistan’s diverse population.
During the 2005 House of the People elections, all but three provinces had a majority of votes go to candidates who did not take the singlew largest minority of the 1st-choice votes under the system of Single Non-Transferable Voting.
Some 406 candidates were women, who are allocated at least 68 seats.
Notable incumbent candidates include: Ramazan Bashar Dost, who came third in the 2009 Afghan Presidential election; Younus Qanooni, runner-up to President Hamid Karzai in the 2004 presidential election and the inaugural Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga; Shukria Barakzai, a vocal supporter of women’s rights; and Mullah Abdul Salaam Rocketi, a former jihadist who earned his name from his skill in shooting rocket-propelled grenades during the Soviet occupation. All three of them are standing again for one of the 33 seats assigned to Kabul province.
Other candidates for Kabul include: comedian Zamir Kabuli and adviser Cormac Bloomfield, who is famous for ridiculing politicians; Farida Tarana, a 29-year-old former female contestant on Afghan Star, the local equivalent of American Idol.
Reflecting on the disputed previous presidential election, in December 2009 representatives of donor states expressed worries and even suggested that voting should be postponed. Since the violence and the accusations of fraud that accompanied the 2009 election, another round of voting was expected to do more harm than good. The planned election might lead to a new campaign of violence by the Taliban to intimidate voters. The United Nations, the US and election observation missions, including one representing the European Union, had asked the Afghan government to refrain from further elections until it had written a new election law and created a list of registered voters.
United States congressmen visiting Kabul that month also urged President Karzai to delay until electoral reforms were in place. Otherwise, Afghanistan could risk American financial support. Karzai insisted that the elections had to be held in May, despite concerns about their credibility.
On January 24, the election authorities in Afghanistan decided to postpone the elections until September 18, due to "security concerns, logistical problems, and insufficient funds". Using a loophole in the Constitution, the Karzai administration unilaterally rewrote the election law, and Karzai put it into effect by a decree on February 13, 2010. Under this new version, the five members of the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), would be chosen by the president after consultation with the parliamentary leadership. Previously, three of the seats were held by foreigners appointed by the United Nations and the other two members were Afghans. On March 31, 2010, the Lower House of the Afghan parliament rejected this change.
In a speech at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) on May 17, 2010, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah warned that another rigged election would be catastrophic, even more than the discredited presidential election in August 2009 from which he dropped out.
On August 13, 2010, Staffan de Mistura, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special representative for Afghanistan, called upon the Afghan security forces to show heightened vigilance, referring to widespread intimidation of female candidates, the killing of three candidates and other violence directed against candidates. The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) stated that observers were based in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan to observe the campaigns at the provincial level, and volunteer observers in many districts as well.
Starting June 2010, FEFA published monitoring reports into the election campaign, in which it cataloged examples of violence against candidates or misuse of government resources. FEFA called on the Afghan government and Afghan and international security forces to take action against individuals perpetrating electoral violations and act decisively to protect voters and candidates and voters ahead of the parliamentary elections. In the report about the launch of the 2010 election campaigns, the FEFA detailed illegal actions of candidates, increasing attacks against candidates and campaign workers, and widespread intimidation of women. Warlords, the Taliban and rival candidates were blamed for the intimidation and already at least eight people had been assassinated in relation to the upcoming elections, including three candidates. According to some candidates the security situation was worse than with the 2009 elections, despite the arrival of the reinforcement of 30,000 American troops. Nader Nadery, Commissioner at the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and director of FEFA, said that there was more intimidation, more attacks on female candidates and other candidates. "Areas in the south are becoming more and more insecure and areas in the north are becoming more and more intimidating for the weaker candidates." According to Mirwais Yasini, former deputy speaker of the Lower House and a candidate in Nangahar Province, in several districts it was impossible to campaign.
There were also reports of thousands of fake voter registration cards in circulation that threatened the credibility of elections.
The IEC sacked 6,000 election workers and tightened the security measures surrounding ballot boxes by introducing a computerized tracking system.
However, it was expected that fraud would still occur and would be hard to spot, according to election observers Democracy International.
On election day, at least fourteen people were killed amid UN and US warnings that security and fraud were major concerns at the election. The Taliban also fired rockets in several cities including Kabul and set off bombs at a polling station and by the governor of Kandahar's convoy.
A Taliban website said that upwards of a hundred attacks had been carried out, though these claims were not confirmed; election authorities, however, said that the elections as a whole had been safe. The organization that monitored the elections, the Free and Fair Elections Foundation, said that "[t]hough there were numerous attacks, none were severe enough to disrupt voting on a wide scale."
Fraud was also a concern, as some people were discovered trying to cast over a thousand illegitimate votes on behalf of candidates. Some officials were accused of taking bribes; and permanent ink was used to mark the fingers of those who had voted so as to identify and prevent multiple votes.
The total turnout of voters was estimated to be almost 3.6 million out of a total of more than 10 million eligible voters. The United Nations said that if five million people voted, the vote could be considered a success, given the difficulties of holding an election during a war. The head of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission said that he would consider the election a success if more than three million people voted, a tally that came to pass. Out of a planned 5,816 open voting locations, authorities said that 92% had opened as scheduled, while the remainder had not opened due to security concerns. The turnout was reported to be light due to Taliban threats. However, the violence was also a lot less than expected.
On September 26, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) ordered recounts at locations in seven provinces, but left open the possibility of ordering recounts in other provinces. The recounts were ordered in Kunduz, Balkh, Takhar, Badakhshan and Parwan provinces in the north and northeast, Logar and Khost. At least five polling centres in eastern Khost province were declared invalid.[why?]
Preliminary results for all 34 provinces were originally due on October 8, but were unexpectedly put off citing the need to be "more accurate and precise." However, they would still be subject to confirmation after the Electoral Complaints Commission adjudicates on its legality. Final, certified results were released on October 31.
|name||province||number of votes||percentage||m/f||incumbency||ethnicity||associated party'|
|Alhaj Zulmai Mujadadi||Badakhshan||16,410||7.1%||m||incumbent||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Alhaj Safiullah Muslim||Badakhshan||8,632||3.7%||m||new||Uzbek|
|Abdul Latif Pedram||Badakhshan||8,469||3.7%||m||new||Tajik||National Congress Party (Leader)|
|Amanullah Paiman||Badakhshan||8,289||3.6%||m||incumbent||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Alhaj Shah Abdul Ahad Afzali||Badakhshan||8,164||3.5%||m||new||Tajik|
|Muhammad Zekria Soda||Badakhshan||7,982||3.5%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Abdul Wali Niazi||Badakhshan||7,811||3.4%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi||Badakhshan||3,667||1.6%||f||new||Tajik|
|Sayed Muhammad Musa Janab Sahib||Badghis||4,593||7.4%||m||new||Hezbi Islami|
|Hajji Ghulam Sarwar Faiez||Badghis||3,802||6.1%||m||new||Hazara|
|Alhaj Qazi Abdul Rahim||Badghis||3,261||5.3%||m||new||Hazara|
|Safia Aymaq||Badghis||2,003||3.2%||f||new||Aymaq||Hezbi Islami|
|Sayed Mansoor Naderi||Baghlan||7,849||6.5%||m||incumbent||Hazara||Hezbe Paiwand Milli (Leader)|
|Shukria Esa Khil||Baghlan||5,247||4.3%||f||incumbent||Pasthun||Afghan Mellat|
|Dr Mahdi||Baghlan||5,154||4.2%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Muhammad Azim Muhsini||Baghlan||4,551||3.7%||m||new||Hazara|
|Muhammad Zahir Ghani Zada||Baghlan||3,080||2.5%||m||new||Tajik|
|Alhaj Ustad Najya Aymaq||Baghlan||1,373||1.1%||f||new||Aymaq|
|Ahmad Shah Ramazan||Balkh||19,614||7.7%||m||new||Hazara|
|Abas Ibrahim Zada||Balkh||18,413||7.2%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Islami Mardum|
|Alhaj Muhammad Ishaq Rahguzar||Balkh||17,181||6.8%||m||incumbent||Arab||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Alhaj Alam Khan Azadi||Balkh||16,820||6.6%||m||incumbent||Arab|
|Assadullah Sharifi||Balkh||15,351||6.0%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Alhaj Muhammad Abdah||Balkh||14,173||5.6%||m||incumbent||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Islami Mardum|
|Alhaj Maulawi Abdul Rahman Rahmani||Balkh||12,389||4.9%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Muhammad Farhad Azimi||Balkh||10,787||4.2%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Sifora Niazai||Balkh||4,358||1.7%||f||incumbent||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Brishna Rabie||Balkh||3,229||1.3%||f||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Dr. Gulalay Noor Safi||Balkh||3,018||1.2%||f||incumbent||Pashtun|
|Colonel Abdul Rahman Shahidani||Bamyan||11,993||9.9%||m||new||Hazara|
|Hajji Fakuri Behishti||Bamyan||11,824||9.7%||m||incumbent||Hazara||Hezbe Eqtedar Milli|
|Ustad Muhammad Akbari||Bamyan||10,857||8.9%||m||incumbent||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Milli Islami (Leader)|
|Muhammad Noor Akbari||Daykundi||15,780||10.5%||m||incumbent||Hazara|
|Asadullah Saadati||Daykundi||12,742||8.5%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Islami|
|Sadiqi Zada Neli||Daykundi||10,592||7.1%||m||incumbent||Hazara||Hezbe Eqtedar Milli|
|Ustad Humaira Ayubi||Farah||3,763||10.0%||f||new||Pashtun|
|Samiullah Samim||Farah||3,690||9.8%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Hajji Mammor Mussa||Farah||2,642||7.0%||m||incumbent||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Abdul Sabor Khidmat||Farah||2,415||6.4%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Alhaj Saranwal Muhammad Sarwar Usmani Farahi||Farah||2,223||5.9%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Hajji Muhammad Hashim||Faryab||9,299||5.0%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Dr. Naqebullah Fayeq||Faryab||7,720||4.1%||m||new||Uzbek|
|Eng. Muhammad Hashim Awartaq||Faryab||7,617||4.1%||m||new||Uzbek|
|Bashir Ahmad Tah Yenj||Faryab||7,427||4.0%||m||new||Uzbek|
|Alhaj Fathullah Qaisari||Faryab||7,221||3.9%||m||incumbent||Uzbek||Junbish Milli|
|Muhammad Shakar Kargar||Faryab||6,906||3.7%||m||incumbent||Uzbek||Junbish Milli|
|Ali Akbar Qasimi||Ghazni||13,855||7.7%||m||incumbent||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Islami Mardum|
|Ustad Muhammad Ali Akhlaqi||Ghazni||10,078||5.6%||m||new||Hazara|
|Dr. Shah Jahan||Ghazni||9,209||5.1%||m||new||Hazara|
|Muhammad Ali Alizada||Ghazni||8,498||4.7%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Islami Mardum|
|Dr. Abdul Qayoom Sajadi||Ghazni||6,898||3.9%||m||new||Hazara|
|Ustad Muhammad Arif Rahmani||Ghazni||6,864||3.8%||m||new||Hazara|
|Alhaj Khuda Dad Erfani||Ghazni||6,658||3.7%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Islami|
|Eng. Nafisa Azimi||Ghazni||6,228||3.5%||f||new||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Islami Mardum|
|Chaman Shah Etimadi||Ghazni||5,891||3.3%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Islami|
|Shah Gull Rezayee||Ghazni||3,679||2.1%||f||incumbent||Hazara|
|Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Malikzad||Ghor||18,493||10.5%||m||incumbent||Aymaq|
|Hajji Qurban Kohistnai||Ghor||15,698||8.9%||m||incumbent||Hazara|
|Alhaj Karam-u-din Reza Zada||Ghor||12,352||7.0%||m||new||Aymaq|
|Shikh Namtullah Ghafari||Helmand||3,042||9.1%||m||incumbent||Hazara|
|Hajji Abdul Hay||Helmand||2,403||7.2%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Hajji Muhammad Wali Alizai||Helmand||1,881||5.7%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Abdul Jabar||Helmand||1,773||5.3%||m||new||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Massoud Khan Noorzai||Helmand||1,664||4.9%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Ghulam Farooq Majroh||Herat||9,524||3.3%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Qazi Nazer Ahmad Hanafi||Herat||8,716||3.0%||m||incumbent||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Hajji Ghulam Farooq Nazari||Herat||7,346||2.6%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Ahmad Farhad Majedi||Herat||7,005||2.4%||m||new||Tajik|
|Muhammad Reza Khushak Watan Dost||Herat||6,961||2.4%||m||new||Hazara|
|Hajji Muhammad Arif Tayeb||Herat||6,106||2.1%||m||incumbent||Aymaq||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Hajji Khalil Ahmad Shahed Zada||Herat||6,048||2.1%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Abdul Hadi Jamshedi||Herat||5,689||2.0%||m||incumbent||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Dr. Muhammad Salih Saljoqi||Herat||5,577||1.9%||m||incumbent||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Alhaj Eng. Monawar Shah Bahaduri||Herat||5,430||1.9%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Alhaj Muhammad Rafiq Shaheer||Herat||5,347||1.9%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Nahid Ahamdi Farid||Herat||4,042||1.4%||f||new|
|Ustad Najla Dehqan Nazhad||Herat||2,041||0.7%||f||incumbent||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Yasamin Barikzai||Herat||1,688||0.6%||f||new||Pashtun||Hezbe Musharikat Mili|
|Dr. Enayatullah Babur Ferahmand||Juzjan||8,137||8.1%||m||new||Uzbek|
|Baz Muhammad Juzjani||Juzjan||6,453||6.4%||m||incumbent||Arab|
|Abdul Satar Darzabi||Juzjan||5,543||5.5%||m||incumbent||Uzbek||Junbish Milli|
|Hajji Muhammad Ismail||Juzjan||5,168||5.1%||m||new||Turkmen|
|Hajji Muhammad Mohaqiq||Kabul||16,233||3.6%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Islami Mardum (Leader)|
|Yunus Qanuni||Kabul||9,548||2.1%||m||incumbent||Tajik||Hezbe Afghanistan Naween (Leader)|
|Dr Ramazan Bashar Dost||Kabul||7,935||1.8%||m||incumbent||Hazara|
|Ustad Abdul Rab Rasool Sayaf||Kabul||7,158||1.6%||m||incumbent||Pashtun||Hezbe Dawat Islami (Leader)|
|Wakeel Fatima Nazari||Kabul||6,834||1.5%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Niyaaz Milli (Leader)|
|Mir Amanullah Guzar||Kabul||6,686||1.5%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Farkhunda Zahra Naderi||Kabul||6,612||1.5%||f||new||Hazara||Hezbe Paiwand Milli|
|Hajji Muhammad Farhad Seddiqi||Kabul||5,128||1.1%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Muhammad Ibrahim Qasemi||Kabul||5,014||1.1%||m||incumbent||Hazara|
|Dr. Jafar Mahdawi||Kabul||5,013||1.1%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Islami Mardum|
|Sayed Hussain Anwari||Kabul||4,715||1.1%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Harakat Islami (Leader)|
|Alhaj Ezatullah Atif||Kabul||4,429||1.%||m||new||Arab|
|Alhaj Allah Gull Mujahid||Kabul||4,115||0.9%||m||new||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Hajji Muhammad Dawoud Kalakani||Kabul||3,926||0.9%||m||incumbent||Tajik||Hezbe Dawat Islami|
|Sharifullah Kamawal||Kabul||3,876||0.9%||m||new||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Dr Sayed Ali Kazemi||Kabul||3,764||0.8%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Eqtedar Milli (Leader)|
|Qais Hassan||Kabul||3,608||0.8%||m||new||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Sayed Hussain Alimi Balkhi||Kabul||3,423||0.8%||m||incumbent||Hazara|
|Eng. Shir Wali Wardak||Kabul||3,409||0.8%||m||new||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Anwar Khan Oriakhil||Kabul||3,200||0.7%||m||incumbent||Pashtun|
|Ramazan Juma Zada||Kabul||3,148||0.7%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Paiwand Milli|
|Shenkai Zaheen Karokhil||Kabul||2,999||0.7%||f||new||Pashtun|
|Arfanullah Arfan||Kabul||2,977||0.7%||m||incumbent||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Dr Abdullah Kalimzai Wardak||Kabul||2,918||0.7%||m||new||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Ustad Qurban Ali Arfani||Kabul||2,905||0.7%||m||new||Hazara||Hezbe Wahdat Islami Millat (Leader)|
|Abdul Hafiz Mansoor||Kabul||2,903||0.7%||m||new||Tajik||Jamiat-e Islami|
|Ustad Rababa Parwani Darwish||Kabul||1,309||0.3%||f||new||Hazara|
|General Nazifa Zaki||Kabul||1,210||0.3%||f||new||Tajik|
|Fawzia Nasir Yar Guldarayee||Kabul||1,119||0.3%||f||incumbent||Tajik|
|Turan Sahib Abdul Khaliq Khan Balakarzai||Kandahar||5,663||7.5%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Muhammad Naiem Lalay Hamidzai||Kandahar||5,435||7.2%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Hajji Muhammad Omar Nangialay||Kandahar||4,946||6.6%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Abdul Rahim Ayubi||Kandahar||4,859||6.4%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Alhaj Mullah Sayed Muhammad Akhund||Kandahar||3,452||4.6%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Dr. Mahmood Khan||Kandahar||3,438||4.6%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Attaullah Jan Habib||Kandahar||3,004||4.0%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Fariba Ahmadi Kakar||Kandahar||2,289||3.0%||f||new||Pashtun|
|Alhaj Mirdad Khan Nijrabi||Kapisa||10,199||22.5%||m||new|
|Eng. Muhammad Iqbal Safi||Kapisa||6,641||14.7%||m||incumbent||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Hajji Agha Jan||Kapisa||3,574||7.9%||m||new||Tajik||Hezbi Islami|
|Tahira Mujadidi||Kapisa||1,464||3.2%||f||new||Tajik||Hezbi Islami|
|Kamal Nasir Usoli||Khost||4,921||14.4%||m||new||Pashtun|
|Alhaj Dr. Mirbat Khan Mangal||Khost||2,659||7.8%||m||new||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Maulawi Shazada Shaid||Kunar||8,359||11.8%||m||incumbent|
|Hajji Sakhi||Kunar||6,827||9.7%||m||new||Pashtun||Hezbi Islami|
|Hajji Salih Muhammad||Kunar||5,853||8.3%||m||new||Pashtun|
The MPs are made up of: (38.5%) 96 Pashtuns, (24.5%) 61 Hazaras, (21%) 53 Tajiks, (6%) 15 Uzbeks, (3%) 8 Aymāq, (3%) 8 Arab, (1%) 3 Turkmen, (1%) 2 Nuristanis, (1%) 1 Baloch, (0.5%) 1 Pashai and (0.5%) 1 Turkic.[original research?]
President Karzai responded to the allegations, saying "[i]t is early for us to make concrete judgment ... as far as the quality of the election is concerned, and organization, this is too early to judge. The president and government will make judgment after the relevant organisations have concluded their work."
Additionally, more than 100 complaints of fraud were filed in the first weekend, with another 1,300 complaints submitted orally, though the election commission said that they would not be reviewed unless they were put into writing. By September 26, 3,460 complaints had been received by the Electoral Complaints Commission.
Many candidates demanded a suspension of the vote because of allegations of fraud and vote-rigging.
The election commission voided more than 20%, or 1.3 million, of the ballots, after fraud investigations.
Twenty-one elected parliamentarians were also disqualified due to fraud. A spokesman of the electoral commission said that 19 of the candidates were winning or leading their races, while two others had failed to win seats.
Despite ongoing allegations of fraud and disqualifications, Karzai agreed to open parliament if the said controversies were not brought up.
On 23 June 2011, a special tribunal led by Sidiquallah Haqiq and set up by Karzai to probe election irregularities declared the election of 62 MPs void and others elected in their stead, about a quarter of the races in the election. The MPs have the right to appeal to the Afghan Supreme Court
On August 21, 2011, The Afghanistan Independent Election Commission announced at a news conference that nine members of Parliament would be removed and that nine candidates, previously disqualified over electoral irregularities, would have their seats restored.
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