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Afghan Loya Jirga Adjourns Until Monday

Afghanistan's grand elective council, the Loya Jirga, adjourned until Monday after a proposal on the composition of a new interim legislature sparked heated debate.

The Loya Jirga erupted Sunday over proposals to create a new interim legislature. Delegates crowded the chairman's platform and hurled shouts and insults at each other. The live television and radio transmission of the proceedings was cut for about one half hour until order in the cavernous meeting tent was restored.

The dispute was over the allocation of seats in the legislature: whether each province would have two representatives, or if there should be one representative for every 10 of the more than 1,600 delegates.

But some delegates point out that allocating seats on a provincial basis would allow local warlords, many of whom are provincial governors, to stack the interim legislature.

By the end of the day, no decision had been reached, and the Loya Jirga was adjourned until Monday, when the newly elected interim president, Hamid Karzai, will address the delegates on the issue.