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Afghanistan's Loya Jirga and Karzai Divided on Determining New Transitional Government - 2002-06-15


Afghanistan's grand assembly and its newly-elected president, Hamid Karzai, are divided on the how to determine the new transitional government that will rebuild the war-torn country.

Mr. Karzai's supporters say his mandate calls for him to name the cabinet, but other delegates insist such decisions must be made by the entire country.

Speaking to the Loya Jirga in Kabul today (Saturday), Mr. Karzai urged the more than 15-hundred delegates to elect a transitional parliament to oversee his new government and to approve members of his cabinet.

Mr. Karzai was elected president of the new transitional government Thursday. Officials and delegates say a deal among ethnic leaders over the cabinet is expected to be finalized shortly.

The Loya Jirga is being held under a huge tent in the Afghan capital. It has been marked by heated comments from the delegates -- who have spoken on issues ranging from criticism of Afghan's former king to concerns that too many warlords remain in the country.

The grand assembly is due to end Sunday, but may be extended for one more day.

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