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Afghanistan: Karzai To Address Deadlocked Loya Jirga

Kabul, 17 June 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Afghanistan's Loya Jirga traditional assembly resumed today, with Afghan President Hamid Karzai expected to address the delegates (1230 Prague time). Karzai is expected to attempt to break a deadlock among assembly delegates on the composition of a transitional parliament. The parliament, which is to convene shortly after the Loya Jirga, is to oversee the government.

Loya Jirga delegates have been divided over the selection of representatives to the parliament. It is not yet clear if the parliament will have legislative or merely consultative powers.

The Loya Jirga was originally to have ended yesterday, but reports say it is not clear when the assembly will be over. The Loya Jirga was also expected to discuss the make up of a new government.

The traditional assembly elected Karzai last week as head of state to lead the new government, or Transitional Authority, which will run Afghanistan until national elections in 2004.