Afghanistan's president stakes on nation's consolidation

Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai intends to stake on "consolidating the nation - all ethnic and social layers of the country's population" during the transitional period. Yet he believes that "fighting international terrorism is still a topical issue in Afghanistan." This was said at the president's press conference in Kabul. It was his first press conference after he was elected the country's president by Loya Jirga, the council of chiefs and elders, on June 13.

Karzai did not exclude possible changes in the transitional period government, though "defining the new cabinet should be the parliament's prerogative, as in all civilized countries." For this purpose a parliament will be created on the basis of the current emergency Loya Jirga, that will be active during the transitional period set for 1,5-2 years. The number of MPs for the would-be parliament is still being discussed, but most probably it will include one out of each 30 members of Loya Jirga.

According to the Pakistani radio, the parliament will comprise 111 MPs. They will work together with the president and the transitional government during 18 months before the general election in Afghanistan.

On the day of his election Karzai stressed that the world community had given Afghanistan a unique opportunity for restoration, allocating to it a lot of money and rendering other aid.

"We must protect the money from being embezzled," he said then.

Few peopled doubted Karzai's victory after ex-king Mohammad Zahir Shah's and ex-president of the Islamic state of Afghanistan Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani withdrew their candidatures and called for voting for Karzai.

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