Page last updated at 06:10 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 07:10 UK

Afghan parliament rejects Karzai election decree

File pic of President Hamid Karzai
President Karzai was forced into a poll run-off last year

Afghanistan's parliament has rejected a presidential decree that would give President Hamid Karzai more control over a key electoral watchdog.

The lower house voted to reject proposals allowing Mr Karzai to select three of the five members of the Electoral Complaints Commission.

The decree initially gave Mr Karzai powers to appoint all the five members.

But he later agreed to allow two UN nominated foreigners after objections by the world body and diplomats.

Correspondents say the proposal triggered concerns that Mr Karzai was backing away from promises to clean up vote fraud and corruption.

The commission stripped Mr Karzai of nearly one-third of his votes in last year's presidential election.

Mr Karzai was declared the eventual victor after his opponent Abdullah Abdullah dropped out.

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