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Afghan Parliament Elects Lower House Speaker

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TEHRAN, Feb 27 (ICANA)- Afghan MPs elected a compromise candidate as speaker of the parliament's lower house on Sunday following weeks of debate and political tension between the two front runners, MPs said.
Sunday, February 27, 2011 10:54:08 PM
Afghan Parliament Elects Lower House Speaker

Abdul Raof Ibrahimi, who represents northern Kunduz province and is from the minority Uzbek ethnic group, was elected in a public vote by legislators present at the house, Daud Kalakani, another MP, told AFP. Former speaker Mohammad Younus Qanooni and warlord Abdulrab Rasoul Sayaf were the two main candidates for the position, but both failed to secure majority support, opening weeks of debate and rivalry. Other candidates backed by each side also failed to win enough votes from the house, and a committee was assigned to find a way to put an end to the deadlock. "The committee nominated Ibrahimi from the minority Uzbek ethnic group and the house voted in his favor and he was elected," said Kalakani. The MPs were elected in a parliamentary poll in September marred by widespread allegations of fraud which saw many losing candidates take to the streets in protest. The country's top prosecutor Mohammad Ishaq Alako, an ally of the President Hamid Karzai, at one point called for the results to be annulled, but later the Supreme Court set up a special tribunal to examine electoral fraud claims. Alako alleges his investigations found instances of bribery by winning MPs, but election authorities deny it.

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