After delays, Afghan president inaugurates new parliament

President Ashraf Ghani has inaugurated the country’s new parliament after almost six months since elections were held and following long delays, claims of voter fraud, unresolved disputes and political bickering.

Ghani spoke at the ceremony on Friday in Kabul, which brought together both the lower, legislative 249-seat chamber and the appointed 104-member upper house.

He expressed regret over the delays and the fact that 33 seats for lawmakers from the districts in central Kabul province were empty because the election commission still has not announced results for those districts.

Ghani blamed what he said was the “inefficiency of former election commission members” who have since been replaced.

The October election day was marred by bombings and attacks on polling stations across the country that killed 27 civilians and 11 policemen.

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