Afghan Parliament Sworn In, Despite Fraud Investigation

January 26, 2011 Updated: January 26, 2011

Afghan President Hamid Karzai opened the country’s Parliament on Wednesday. The inauguration of the Parliament comes despite an ongoing investigation into election fraud.

A special committee set up by Karzai to investigate the fraud had requested an additional month to investigate complaints. This resulted in a standoff with some newly elected Parliament members who have been claiming that a delay would be unconstitutional, and would play into the Karzai's hands to remove political opponents from their seats.

On Tuesday, Karzai said his decision to go ahead with the opening of Parliament was the result of foreign pressure.

"Some foreign hands questioned our decisions and started instigation to create crises in our country," Karzai said in a statement released by his office, according to AFP.

The elections last September were marred by fraud, with an estimated one-quarter of all ballots cast declared invalid.

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