This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.
Search BBC
BBC World Service
BBC BBC News BBC Sport BBC Weather BBC World Service Worldservice languages
spacer gif
You are in: Home page > News English > Words in the News
Learning English
spacer gif
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

 
   
  erupted
began suddenly and intensely

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

 
   
  counter to
against

 
   
  Read more about this story  
 

Other Words in the News archives

 

BBC copyright
 
Learning English | News English | Business English | Watch and Listen
 
Grammar and Vocabulary | Communicate | Quizzes | For teachers
 
Downloads | FAQ | Contact us