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Afghan Opposition Leader Qanooni Forms Alliance

Ten Afghan political parties opposed to President Hamid Karzai have formed an alliance to run in upcoming parliamentary elections.

Alliance leader Yunus Qanooni told a news conference in Kabul the Front of National Understanding had agreed on common policies for the September 18 National Assembly election. These include calls for a reduction in the powers of the president, more help for disarmed militiamen and better use of foreign reconstruction aid.

He also criticized the Karzai government, saying the security situation has not improved as promised, and the country is sliding toward crisis.

Mr. Qanooni and his deputy in the new coalition, Mohammed Mohaqeq, scored 28 percent between them in October's presidential race, far behind Karzai's 55 percent.

Some information for this story provided by AFP and Reuters.