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Mohammad Younis Qanooni

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Title: Mohammad Younis Qanooni  
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Subject: House of the People (Afghanistan)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mohammad Younis Qanooni

Yunus Qanuni
یونس قانونی
Qanuni in 2009
Speaker of House of the People
Assumed office
7 December 2005
Deputy Mirwais Yasini
Preceded by None
Personal details
Born 1957
Panjshir Province, Afghanistan
Political party New Afghanistan Party
Religion Islam

Yunus Qanuni (Persian: یونس قانونی‎, also transliterated Qanooni and Qanouni) (born 1957) is a politician in Afghanistan. An ethnic Tajik from the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, Qanuni is the leader of the Afghanistan e Naween (New Afghanistan) political party and former Speaker of the House of the People (the lower house of parliament or Wolesi Jirga).

Pre Election Life

Following the Soviet Intervention of Afghanistan in 1979, Qanuni joined with the mujahideen force led by Ahmad Shah Massoud based in his native Panjshir Valley. A protégé of Massoud, he was involved in the creation of the Afghan Northern Alliance and served as Interior Minister in Burhanuddin Rabbani's government. After the assassination of Massoud in 2001, a trio consisting of Qanuni, Defence Minister Mohammed Fahim and Foreign Minister Dr Abdullah took defacto control of the Northern Alliance and its financial resources.

As a member of the Northern Alliance, he supported the United States invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, but opposed Pakistani involvement, as Pakistan favored a reformed Taliban government rather than a new government based upon the Afghan Northern Alliance. In 2001, Qanuni served as chief negotiator for the Afghan Northern Alliance delegation to the Bonn conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany.

Immediately after the fall of the Taliban government, Qanuni was interior minister in an interim administration. He was eventually made the education minister in the Afghan Transitional Administration (established in June 2002), and served as a security advisor to interim President Hamid Karzai. Along with Fahim and Abdullah, Qanuni was seen as one of the dominant figures of the Transitional Administration

Elections for a permanent government were scheduled for 2004. When Qanuni's ally Mohammed Fahim was passed over as vice-presidential running mate of Karzai, Qanuni entered the race for the presidency himself. On October 5, 2004, Qanuni's campaign supporter, Abdul Aziz, was assassinated while in Shindand, Afghanistan.

In the election, held October 9, 2004, he placed second to Karzai. On December 23, 2004, the newly inaugurated Karzai announced his administration, and both Qanuni and Fahim were dropped from their Ministerial posts.

Post Election Activities

Qanuni was elected in the 2005 Afghan Parliamentary elections, placing second in the Kabul province. Since the Presidential election he has generally been seen as the spokesman of the formerly powerful Tajik ethnic group, which dominated the Northern Alliance and the Transitional Afghan Administration, but was largely sidelined after the 2004 Presidential Election. As well as his own party, Qanuni has formed an alliance of several parties called the Jabahai Tafahim Millie or National Understanding Front.

On December 21, Qanuni was chosen to lead the 249-seat lower house of parliament with 122 votes against 117 for his closest challenger, Rasool Sayyaf.


External sources

  • Biography: Mohammad Yunis Qanuni
  • BBC; 9/10/2004
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