Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Political Landscape

Special Court Suggests to Change 62 MPs: The Outgoing and The Outcome (amended)

Thomas Ruttig 6 min

Herewith, we continue to report the changes in the Wolesi Jirga composition which would happen if the Special Election Court’s findings presented on Thursday would be implemented – which is not sure. Today, we present the final list of those MPs who would need to leave the house. Gran Hewad and Obaid Ali have put the figures together, Thomas Ruttig draws some conclusions.

The number crunching and name dropping first: 14 of the 62 to-be-excluded MPs were member of the previous parliament. The ethnic balance between the incoming and the outgoing parliamentarians is more or less even, with the exception of Ghazni where four Pashtuns would replace four Hazaras. Of the total, more than 25 are Pashtuns, over 20 Tajiks, eight Hazaras, two each Sayyeds and Uzbek, one each Turkmen and Nuristani.

Also clear political trends do not emerge. Indeed, in a Jamiatstronghold like Badakhshan more Jamiatis have come in. At the same time, in Herat and neighbouring Badghis, otherJamiat strongholds – though with different factions, anti- and pro-Ismail Khan – almost all drop-outs are Jamiatis. In Kandahar, the son of the prominent (late) Southern Jamiati commander Habibullah Jan, Attaullah Jan Habibi, lost his seat, as did the former minister for labour and social affairs Sayyed Ikramuddin Masumi in Takhar and, in Kabul, Jamiati ideologue and one prospective opposition opinion leader in the house, Abdul Hafiz Mansur.

Seven out of the 62 drop-outs are members of the SABA parliamentary group that has Hezb-e Islami members and sympathizers at its core. That would cost it its official status: a parliamentary group needs 23 MPs at least, and SABA so far claimed 28. 14 are on the list of the relatively new parliamentary group Karwan-e Solh (Peace Caravan), set up by controversial Haji Abdul Zaher, son of the late Haji Abdul Qadir, the head of the pre-Taleban Jalalabad shura.

As reported earlier, amongst the most prominent possible drop-outs are (and this is an update of our earlier blog here) pro-democratic ex-mujahedin leader Sayyed Ishaq Gailani (Paktika), Hezb-e Wahdat commander Khodaidad Erfani (Ghazni), Haidarjan Naimzoi (Kuchi, son of a former top Taleb Naim Kuchi), the nephew of Ismaili leader and MP Sayyed Mansur Naderi, Sayyed Daud Naderi (Kunduz), and Herati Professional Shura stalwart Rafiq Shahir. Also a quartet of former or current leftists, Qalatwal (another WJ secretary) and Andiwal from Zabul, ‘Qahraman’ (hero) Abdul Jabbar from Helmand and Humayun from Khost was affected. [Correction: Qahraman Abdul Jabbar is still in; Massud Khan Nurzai is out.]

An impressive number of possible Karzai allies, or allies/relatives of Karzai allies, would also lose their seats. Among them are Erfanullah Erfan from Sayyaf’s party (Kabul), Aref Nurzai’s cousin Haji Mohammad Omar Nangyalai (Kandahar), Shaker Kargar (a former Jombeshi-turned-Karzai supporter, he also was a minister), Jowzjan Turkmen Haji Muhammad Ismail who is close to former Karzai campaign manager and ex-minister Nur Muhammad Qarqin and Saheb Khan, a former Hezb-e Islami commander in Logar. Significantly, on the opposite carriageway a big Karzai rival for the leadership over his Popalzai tribe made it into the Wolesi Jirga: Niaz Muhammad ‘Amir’ Lalai.

As important as names and figures are the technicalities upon which the Special Court arrived at its conclusions. The verdict of FEFA, the independent Afghan election watchdog, is telling: ‘disorganization and lack of transparency’. Here more in details from the FEFA report (read it in full here):

‘Since FEFA had declined to participate in the work of the Special
Court, it was extremely difficult to directly observe the recount. In
spite of this, FEFA made efforts to indirectly observe the process by
speaking to representatives of the candidates and other parties
involved in the recount.

…the findings paint an overall picture of the process characterized
by disorganization and lack of transparency. Procedures for the
recount were not established beforehand in any of the provinces, and
those involved in recount were not trained. In most provinces it was
observed that representatives of the organs forming the provincial
recount staff constantly changed.

In some provinces, serious discrepancies were observed between the
votes cast and the tallies of votes on the results sheet, indicating
that some fraud occurred in favor of the objecting candidates. The
most conspicuous instances of this occurred in the city of Maimana and
Belcheragh District in Faryab; in the city of Cheghcheran and Doleina
District in Ghor; in the city of Zaranj in Nimroz; in the districts of
Wozah Zadran, Zurmat, Haji Aryub and Ahmadaba in Paktia; and in the
districts of Pachira Gam and Hisarak Ghilzai in Nangarhar.

During recounting it has been repeatedly observed that the
discrepancies between the recount numbers and the number of votes in
the ballot boxes of those objecting candidates who did not have
complaints or representatives present during recounting, were not
tallied and recorded. The most conspicuous examples of this occurred
in Ghor, Nangarhar, Takhar, Khost, Kabul, Baghlan, Paktia, Jawzjan,
Balkh, Badakhshan and Faryab.

Information also indicates that ballot boxes disqualified or
quarantined by the Electoral Complaints Commission or the Independent
Elections Commission due to clear fraud were not kept separate from
ballot boxes deemed suspect by the Special Court. Similarly, ballot
boxes that were disqualified due to clear fraud were counted and
included in the results. Notable examples of this occurred in Maimana
City and districts of Qaisar, Shirin Tagab, Pashtun Kot and Khwaja
Sabz Posh in Faryab; Ajristan District in Ghazni; districts of Darra-e
Souf-e Bala and Darra-e Souf-e Payeen in Samangan; Achin District in
Nangarhar; Wozah Zadran District in Paktia; Zaranj City in Nimroz; and
capital of khost Province.’

One thing is clear: There is no clear pattern in the changes the Special Court suggests. With one exception: The proposed changes in Ghazni are exactly what President Karzai wanted, replacing some Hazaras with at least a few Pashtuns. Figures must have been doctored there. This suspicion gets more weight with reports that in some provinces there were recounts that resulted in significant changes but those changes were not announced (possibly due to political pressure of local strongmen). The only possible explanation is a lack of political will.

But does that mean that all the other changes are just a cover for Ghazni? Probably not. Even if the Special Court wanted to influence the whole outcome in a certain direction (or someone else wanted to do so), it would not have been able to. After all these months of results and challenges, recounts, disqualifications and de-disqualifications, it would be very difficult to have a complete overview over the process even for the Court.

But in general it is absolutely hilarious that nine months after the elections, eight months after the ‘final result’ was announced by the IEC and five months after the parliament’s inauguration by the President, MPs still can be changed by a body established by the President. And the chaos falls into place in one more aspect: No one will ever be able to say who really won or lost a seat in that September of 2010. The legitimacy of this second post-Taleban parliament of the ‘new democratic’ Afghanistan has been destroyed for good. The winner – again – is: Karzai. The losers are those who want a functioning Afghanistan, governed not ruled.

Re-establishing the balance between the executive and the legislative would require new elections. But how should this work under Afghanistan’s current security conditions and the state its electoral institutions are in?



The Independent Election Commission published a statement today saying that nobody has the right to interfere into election affairs; according to the constitution this is the IEC’s prerogative. The IEC emphasise that its own process was transparent and according to the law, and that it has announced the final result according to the law. The commission also indicated that the Special Court’s recounting process was not done in a transparent way and by unprofessional staff. This conforms with the FEFA statement quoted above.

Postscriptum 2:

Already on Saturday, the Wolesi Jirga voted for the dismissal (salb-e salahiat, ‘withdraw authority’) of the Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azemi and five other members of the Supreme Court who had recommended the establishment of the Special Election Court to President Karzai which the WJ deems illegal.

Annex: The special court-proposed WJ drop-outs, sorted by province


Abdul Wali Niazai
Dr. Nilofar Ibrahimi
Alhaj Safiullah Muslim


Haji Ghulam Sarwar Faiz
Alhaj Qazi Abdul Rahim
Safia Aimaq
Sayed Muhammad Musa Janab Saheb


Delawar Aimaq
Muhammad Zahir Ghanizada


Muhammad Farhad Azimi


Haji Mamur Musa
Alhaj Tsaranwal Muhammad Sarwar Osmani


Asefa Shadab
Muhammad Shaker Kargar
Eng. Muhammad Hashem Urtaq


Chaman Shah Etemadi
Alhaj Khudadad Erfani
Muhammad Ali Alizada
Ustad Muhammad Aref Rahmani


Haji Qurban Kuhistani
Sayed Nader Bahar


[changed:] Massud Khan Nurzai


Ahmad Farhad Majidi
Al-Haj Eng. Munawar Shah Bahaduri
Alhajj Muhammad Rafiq Shahir
Haji Muhammad Aref Tayeb
Haji Khalil Ahmad Shahidzada
Semin Barakzai


Haji Muhammad Ismail


Abdul Hafiz Mansur
Erfanullah Erfan
Fauzia Nasiryar Guldarayi
Dr. Obaidullah Kalimzai Wardak
Sharifullah Kamawal


Attaullah Jan Habib
Dr. Mahmud Khan
Muhammad Naim Lalai Hamidzai
Haji Muhammad Omar Nangyalai


Liaqatullah Babakrkhel


Haji Haidarjan Naimzoi


Fatima Azizi
Sayed Daud Naderi
Shayesta Baz Nazari


Alhaj Naqibullah
Alhaj Zefnun Safi


Eng. Sahib Khan


Haji Pirbakhsh Gardiwal
Eng. Sayed Akram


Mawlawi Ahmadullah Mowahed


Muhammad Ibrahim Ghashtalai


Najia Akbari
Sayed Ishaq Gailani


Dr. Massuma Khawari
Mohebullah Forqani
Muhammad Taher Zaher


Muhammad Hussain Fahimi


Sayed Ekramudin Massumi


Haji Abdul Majid Wardak


Abdul Habib Andiwal
Abdul Qadir Qalatwal
Zuhra Tukhi Zabuli


Government Jirga