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Time Running Out for Afghanistan's Loya Jirga to Determine New Government - 2002-06-15


With only two-more days of meetings left, Afghanistan's grand assembly and its newly-elected president, Hamid Karzai, remain divided on how to choose the country's transitional government.

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

Mr. Karzai today (Saturday) urged the more than 15-hundred delegates at the grand council to elect a transitional parliament to oversee his new government and 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.

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