updated 1/22/2011 11:57:11 AM ET 2011-01-22T16:57:11

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suggested he could abandon a special election court, as part of a deal to end a political crisis over the inauguration of parliament, lawmakers and western officials said on Saturday.

"Karzai has agreed that criminal cases should be decided according to the laws and constitution. If the special court is illegal then it will automatically be abolished," said Mirwais Yasini, a representative for eastern Nangarhar province.

Lawmakers say Karzai has backed down over plans to delay the opening of parliament for a month to allow the court more time for fraud probes. Furious lawmakers denounced his decision as illegal and made plans to meet regardless of the president.

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