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Landmark Afghan Parliament Meets

Afghanistan's first democratically elected parliament in more than 30 years has convened Monday in Kabul. The landmark session is considered a major advance for the country's new democracy.

The new parliament met first thing Monday morning under tight security and high expectations.

It is Afghanistan's first democratically elected assembly following more than three decades of violent conflict.

The parliament is a key component of the U.S. backed efforts to bring democracy to Afghanistan after ousting the terrorist-harboring Taleban regime in 2001.

Peter Dimitroff is the local country director for the U.S.-funded National Democratic Institute. "It's important because it puts in place that piece of political architecture that we need to move forward, we need this piece in place," he said.

The national parliament includes a 249-seat house of representatives and 102-member upper house.

Women represent one quarter of the lower house.

But the democracy is still fragile. Nearly two thirds of the new parliament are warlords - many with their own private armies and some with suspected ties to Afghanistan's illegal drug trade.