e-Ariana - Todays Afghan News
 Home 
 News 
 Articles 
 Cartoons 
 Feedback 
 Opinion  
 Contact Us  
 An Ariana Media Publication 11/23/2014
 Karzai overturns law that reserves seats for women MPs

The Times
02/25/2010
By Catherine Philp

[Printer Friendly Version]

President Karzai has given his election cronies the authority to find new ways of filling women’s seats in forthcoming parliamentary ballots, in a move that critics fear will erode constitutional safeguards designed to guarantee female MPs.

A unilateral decree issued last week gave the Independent Election Commission, which ran the fraudulent presidential polls in August, the right to reallocate seats reserved for women in cases where there are not enough female candidates on the ballot sheets.

Under the existing law Afghan women are guaranteed two seats per province in the lower house of parliament. The system, designed after the collapse of the Taleban to promote women’s rights, guarantees women a certain number of seats on almost every elected body.

However, the decree, issued last week, allows the Commission to find new ways of filling empty posts. “If the vacancies can be filled by male candidates then it’s open to intimidation,” said a women’s rights activist in Kabul. “It’s in the men’s interests to discourage women from standing.” Women in public office already risk death threats.

Mr Karzai faced criticism for undermining women’s rights to garner conservative support before the election when he signed in the Shia Muslim family law that sanctioned marital rape. It is thought that he may be attempting to shore up the same conservative power base in the parliamentary elections.

Western officials said that the President’s intentions could amount to a breach of the constitution.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said that Britain would oppose any effort by Mr Karzai to limit the number of women in parliament. “Any suggestion that one sex of the Afghan population has less right than another to stand we would deplore,” Mr Miliband said.

Few people have seen the decree and The Times was unable to confirm the wording.

Sir John Stanley, a senior Conservative on the Foreign Affairs Committee, urged Mr Miliband to guarantee women’s rights or other human rights if deals were struck with the Taleban to end the insurgency.

Mr Karzai’s decree led to controversy at the weekend because it removes the international majority on the five-member Election Complaints Commission and allows Mr Karzai to name a new panel.

Back to Top



Other Stories:


Has Afghan election fraud controversy been defused?
The Christian Science Monitor (06/25/2014)

Moscow’s Afghan Endgame
The Diplomat (06/25/2014)

Apologize to people, MPs asks Abdullah
Pajhwok (06/25/2014)

The Men Who Run Afghanistan
The Atlantic (06/23/2014)

After Karzai
The Atlantic (06/23/2014)

IEC secretary announces resignation
Pajhwok (06/23/2014)

IECC spurns Abdullah’s claim; hails UN intervention
Pajhwok (06/23/2014)

Afghan election crisis: 'stuffed sheep' recordings suggest large-scale fraud
The Guardian (06/23/2014)

Foreign spies trading on poll crisis: People
Pajhwok (06/22/2014)

Election commission office closed in Kunduz due to security threats
Khaama Press (06/22/2014)

Afghan Leader Backs U.N. Election Role
The New York Times (06/21/2014)

Tensions mount over Afghan vote, protest held in Kabul
Reuters (06/21/2014)

Hundreds protest alleged Afghan election fraud
The Associated Press (06/21/2014)

Afghan Presidential Election Takes Dangerous Turn
The Huffington Post (06/21/2014)

20,000 Heratis being sent to Iran for work
Pajhwok (12/27/2013)

At Kabul airport, exodus of U.S. aid goes on
The Washington Post (12/27/2013)

Haqqani Network leaders sexually abuse teenager boys
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Unemployment, Crime Rising Ahead Of Troop Pullout
Tolo (12/27/2013)

British army head warns Taliban could retake key territory in south
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Election Officials Emphasize Impartial Surveys
Tolo (12/27/2013)

A Complete US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Would Be 'A Complete Catastrophe' For Civilian Aid
Reuters (12/27/2013)

Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014
NPR (12/27/2013)

Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia Are the World's Most Corrupt Countries, With China in the Middle
businessweek.com (12/04/2013)

Poetry of Betrayal: Afghan Elections and Transitional Justice
Beacon Reader (10/25/2013)

Couple beheaded in Helmand province for having love affair
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

US senator says no aid for Afghanistan unless security deal finalized
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

Would-be child bombers detained: NDS
Pajhwok (10/25/2013)

Afghanistan
PJ (10/24/2013)

The Afghan dead find a list
Inter Press Service (10/24/2013)

10 runners shortlisted in 2014 presidential race
Pajhwok (10/24/2013)


Back to Top