Framework for Loya Jirga agreed

Published March 31, 2002

KABUL, March 30: The framework for a traditional Loya Jirga that will choose a transitional leader and government for Afghanistan has been agreed 10 weeks before the convening of the council, officials said on Saturday.

“All the standards and framework have been fixed,” according to Soraya Parlika, a member of the independent commission for the convening of the Loya Jirga, or tribal council of elders.

“We have resolved and we are going to announce our resolution by tomorrow (Sunday),” she said.

The commission, which was set up under the terms of the Bonn accord in December, is expected to convene an emergency Loya Jirga by June to choose a transitional leader and government for an 18-month period. The transitional government is due to begin work at the end of the current interim administration’s term of office on June 22.

Commission delegates have been touring provinces in a bid to canvass opinion and inform Afghans about its work and importance.

Parlika also revealed that delegates had been dispatched abroad to consult Afghan refugees.

“We have been sending missions to the provinces and also we will send missions abroad (to countries) like Pakistan, Iran, central Asian countries, Moscow and wherever Afghan refugees are living,” she said.

“We will explain and enlighten them about the procedure of the commission and convening of the Loya Jirga and also listen to their views and proposals.”

The framework includes details on how the Loya Jirga will be convened, the criteria for elections to the council, how many women will be represented and details of provisions for nomadic and spiritual communities. Parlika said Afghan refugees living abroad and internally displaced persons would also have a place on the body.

She said “all the realities” of Afghan society had been taken into account and the decision on the framework had been made a few days earlier than expected.—AFP

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