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U.N. Welcomes Kabul’s Political Moves

KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 23 (UPI) — A decision reached by the Afghan Independent Election Commission is a welcome end to a long institutional impasse, the U.N. mission there said.

In December, Afghan President Hamid Karzai created an independent panel to investigate alleged fraud in September’s election for the Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of Parliament.

Karzai wanted more than 60 members of the 249-member body removed and the United Nations wanted 17 members replaced. The Independent Elections Committee announced during the weekend that nine members were shuffled out.

Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan, in a statement, said he welcomed Karzai’s decision to give the IEC the authority to operate.

“The real work must now begin,” he said. “The people of Afghanistan expect the Parliament, government and judiciary to act within their clearly defined areas of competence and in accordance with Afghanistan’s constitution and other relevant laws, to bring peace, progress and prosperity to their country.”

Afghan officials had said the IEC decision wasn’t a panacea to the country’s political woes, however.

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