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Karzai's Rival Forms National-Level Political Party

The main political rival to Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has formed a new national-level political party called New Afghanistan.

Yunus Qanuni told reporters in Kabul his party will take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections in April. He also said he will support any positive steps taken by the newly-formed Karzai government, but oppose it when it is wrong.

Mr. Karzai told reporters Friday that he has urged Mr. Qanuni to form a national party. He said he does not want parties in his country to become ethnic or provincial.

Mr. Qanuni said Mr. Karzai offered to make him defense minister, but he declined because that would have limited his political role.

Mr. Qanuni lost to Mr. Karzai in the country's first democratic presidential election in October.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP.