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Words in the News
Wednesday 12 June 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Hamid Karzai
Afghanistan’s loya jirga
Summary: Afghanistan's traditional government assembly - the loya jirga - finally opened on Tuesday 11th June after 24 hours delay. It’s the first such meeting in nearly forty years. This report from Pam O’Toole
The News Listen  
  The current interim administration was shoehorned together at a UN sponsored conference in Bonn last December. It was regarded as an emergency measure and wasn't entirely representative of the Afghan population, particularly the largest ethnic group, the Pashtuns.

This loya jirga is intended to legitimise the power sharing arrangement set up in Bonn and begin to iron out at least some of the inequalities in representation. Some progress has been made. Many delegates have been freely elected by their home districts and seats have been set aside for previously under represented, or un-represented, groups, such as women. But the last minute addition of extra places also means that Afghanistan's powerful warlords-some of whom were accused of trying to fix earlier rounds of voting - will also have seats in the tent.

Over recent days, a power struggle again erupted over the role of Afghanistan's former King, Mohamed Zahir Shah, with his supporters pushing for him to be named as head of state in the new administration. That would run counter to the wishes of the powerful ethnic Tajiks from the Northern Alliance who hold most of the key roles in the interim government and who are supporting its current leader, Hamid Karzai, as future head of state.

The Words Listen
  interim administration
a government appointed for a short time until something more permanent is arranged

  iron out
get rid of

  set aside
kept available for a specific purpose

  under represented, or un-represented groups
parts of the population which don’t have enough power in government, or have no power

  last minute
left until very late in the process

  to fix
here, to arrange unfairly that your candidate wins

  power struggle
here, disagreement between different groups wanting control

began suddenly and intensely

  pushing for
if you push for something, you try very hard to achieve it

  counter to

  Read more about this story  

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