Afghan MPs reject election body ruling

DVBP182 4 WP 0290 AFG /AFP-VI58 Afghanistan-unrest-vote-reax Afghan MPs reject election body ruling KABUL, Aug 21, 2011 (AFP) - A senior member of Afghanistan's parliament claiming to speak on behalf of the 249-member house on Sunday rejected a decision by the war-torn country's election body to unseat nine lawmakers. Afghanistan's Election Commission (IEC) replaced nine members of parliament in a bid to settle nearly a year of disputes over fraud-tainted elections, which have paralysed the lower house. Ahmad Behzad, the second deputy speaker of parliament's lower house, said the IEC's decision was "illegal" and that the house rejected it. "Any amendment in the composition of the parliament is illegal. No one or entity, including the IEC, has the right to bring changes to the parliament," he told AFP. "We won't accept the changes and if the government uses force, obviously it will face reaction from the shura (parliament)." Behzad said he was speaking on behalf of the majority of the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house. Asadullah Saadati, a member of parliament and spokesman for the parliamentary opposition group The Law Coalition, also rejected the ruling. "We don't accept this. We will stand against it. We condemn this decision. No one has the right to bring changes to the composition of the parliament," Saadati told AFP. When asked if the group planned street protests, he said: "We'll stand against it with whatever it takes, considering the requirements of the time." The Law Coalition, one of the biggest parliamentary groups opposed to changes to the composition of parliament, has been behind several major demonstrations in Kabul in recent weeks. sak/sz/ac/je AFP 211127 GMT AUG 11