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    Many Karzai rivals find way to Parliament

    KABUL (PAN): About 90 percent of new Parliament members are political opponents of President Hamid Karzai, an Afghan-led think-tank said on Saturday.

    A number of the members-elect belong to the Change and Hope Party, a coalition of several political groups, led by Karzai's main political rival, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.

    Among the winners, there are critics of the incumbent president from other parties as well, according to research conducted by the Afghanistan Centre for Strategic Studies.

    A copy of the research sent to Pajhwok Afghan News carries interviews of the sitting and former MPs, members of political parties and analysts.

    In the 249-member Wolesi Jirga, or lower house, 121 are affiliated with political parties while 128 won the Sept. 18 election as independent candidates. It is not clear whether the 128 MPs-elect would work in favour of the government or the opposition.

    Sixteen percent of the seats have been won by Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) nominees. The Jamiat-i-Islami has captured 14 percent of the parliamentary berths, according to the study.

    The Hezb-i-Wahdat-i-Islami Afghanistan, led by Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, has bagged eight seats and the fiction led by Karim Khalili five seats. The Afghan Millat Party has one seat and a left-wing party got four seats.

    The ethnic factor deeply influenced in the parliamentary polls results, according to the study, which says the Hazara community's participation was higher than any other ethnic group.

    The representation of Hazaras in Parliament increased and that of Pashtuns -- the largest ethnic group -- decreased.

    Ninety-six of the MPs-elect are Pashtun and 53 Tajik, compared to their 100 and 59 representatives respectively in the 2004 election. Sixty-one of the winning candidates represent the Hazara community, which had 43 members five years ago.

    There are 15 MPs from the Uzbek community, eight from Aimaq, as many from Arab, three from Turkmen, two from Nuristani and one each from Baloch, Pashayee and Turk.