Afghanistan: April 1, 2002


Rules have been established for selecting the 1,501 participants in the Loya Jirga that will determine what the future government of Afghanistan will be. The majority of attendees (1,051) will be elected in the 400 administrative districts the country has long been divided into. One Loya Jirga seat is allocated for every 25,000 Afghans in these districts. The procedure in each district is for 20 candidates to be nominated by tribes and towns. All Afghans age 18 and over can vote. Candidates must be at least 22 years old and have not connection with war crimes, murder, drug smuggling of narcotics, human rights abuses, looting of public property or smuggling of cultural or archeological artifacts. Another 400 seats are available for 53 members of the current interim government, six religious leaders, 20 "credible individuals," 51 civil society members, 25 nomads, 106 refugees, and 
39 members of professional and scientific organizations. These 400 seats have further restrictions on them. At least 160 seats will be guaranteed for women. Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and Iran will be given 70 seats, while 30 seats will go to Afghan refugees in other countries. Internally displaced Afghans have been allocated six seats. The country's first Loya Jirga was held in 1747 (in Kandahar) and selected Ahmed Shah Durrani was selected as king. The next Loya Jirga will be held June 10-16, 2002.


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