Karzai opens Afghan Parliament, taunts West

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Kabul: President Hamid Karzai swore in the country’s new Parliament on January 26 in a ceremony that marked the end of a drawn-out battle over whether the lawmakers would be able to start work despite ongoing investigations into electoral fraud.

It is still unclear whether a disputed tribunal looking into allegations of misconduct will be able to change the results of the September elections, but the 249 members of the Lower House will now be able to start work immediately, rather than wait until late February as Karzai had ordered last week.

The legislators won the concession by threatening to start their work on January 23 — the date originally scheduled for the session to open — without Karzai’s endorsement.

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