Over the weekend, it was reported that Afghanistan’s Supreme Court ruled that President Karzai can remain in office through the elections now scheduled for August, notwithstanding the explicit provision in Article 61 of the 2004 Constitution that the presidential term will end this May 22 . Unreported in the media was how this decision, which was praised by the US and the President, helps resolves an underlying issue in the Afghan Constitution about who has the ultimate power of constitutional interpretation. As detailed in an earlier post by Alex Their, the President’s office had contested the view of the Supreme Court that its power to review laws for conformity with the constitution included the power to interpret the constitution itself. This latest decision represents a certain degree of political pragmatism on the part of the Supreme Court but, perhaps more consequentially for the mid-term, also helps cement its view on the locus of constitutional interpretation.
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