What is a loya jirga? Afghanistan's most pivotal jirgas since 2002.

Afghanistan has had fewer than 20 loya jirgas in the past 300 years, about a quarter of which have taken place in the past 10 years. Here are the top four most pivotal jirgas of the past decade.

2. December 2003 – January 2004 - Approving a new constitution

Shortly after choosing a transitional government, Afghanistan hosted another loya jirga to approve a new constitution. While the loya jirga was only meant to last less than two weeks, intense debate over the new governing document stretched meeting out for nearly a month.

The main debate centered around whether Afghanistan should have constitution that supported a strong presidential system or a parliamentary system, with now President Hamid Karzai strongly supporting the former. Other issues included choosing a national language, women’s rights, and how to structure the economy.

After weeks of heated debate, the loya jirga finally agreed to ratify the constitution by consensus rather than an official vote. 

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