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Afghan Lawmakers Vow to Meet Despite Karzai Delay

Members of the Afghan parliament attend a session in Kabul (file photo)

Leading members of Afghanistan's new parliament have said they will open their session on Sunday, despite President Hamid Karzai's decision to postpone the inaugural meeting.

Lawmakers said Thursday a majority of the incoming members agreed to convene with or without the president's approval.

Mr. Karzai said Wednesday he delayed the beginning of parliament to February 22 after a special election court asked for more time to investigate fraud claims from the September 18 elections.

The final results for the 249-seat lower house of parliament were not announced until December 1, after election officials reviewed about 5,000 fraud claims. Those included charges of vote-rigging and voter intimidation by local warlords.

The Independent Election Commission disqualified nearly one quarter of the votes and disqualified 24 winning candidates.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.