Afghanistan's new parliament likely to sit in December

Kabul, October 25, 2005 - Afghanistan's first parliament in more than 30 years is likely to sit in early December, the president's office said Tuesday. A firm date would be decided once the results of last month's elections had been finalized and various preparations had been made, presidential spokesman Karim Rahimi told reporters. "We are waiting for the final results and then we need some time to make arrangements for the first session of the parliament. "It is going smoothly. We expect the first session of the parliament some time in a month, some time in December," he said. The election authority has announced provisional results from the September 18 election. These results will be finalized once complaints against them have been dealt with, likely by the end of this month. Afghanistan's last parliamentary elections were held in 1969, before a coup in 1973 that was followed by a decade-long Soviet occupation and years of civil war, culminating in the fundamentalist Taliban taking control of most of the country in 1996. The Taliban were overthrown in a US-led campaign in late 2001, after which the country adopted an internationally sanctioned path to democracy.