Having all but entirely knuckled under to US demands, Afghan President Hamid Karzai today presided over the opening of the nation’s parliament, just a week after trying to delay the opening to give more time for a fraud investigation.
The delay sparked something of a constitutional crisis, as it left no parliament to have oversight over the president. The evidence of fraud in the September vote was so overwhelming, however, that it leaves serious concerns about the legitimacy of parliament amongst the voters.
Karzai appeared irked at the opening, and lashed out at the “interference of foreigners” during his speech. Karzai’s references to election fraud may have rung hollow, however, given the fraud in his own 2009 election.
The Taliban, for their part, mocked the opening of parliament as a “drama meant to deceive people” and insisted that the Karzai government was simply a “puppet regime” for the occupation forces.