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Afghan Lawmakers, Warlords Set Up New Party

Afghan Afghan Islamist leader Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf addresses the gathering on December 18.

Several lawmakers who were ministers of former President Hamid Karzai's government have joined with prominent former warlords to set up a new party.

The new party, which includes former warlords Abdul Rasool Sayyaf, Yunus Qanooni, and Ismail Khan, said December 18 in Kabul that it will call itself the Custodian Council of Afghanistan's Stability.

Sayyaf, a leader of the new Afghanistan Protection and Stability Council and a former militia commander, told media the party was "not an antigovernment body" but sought "fundamental reforms in the way government operates."

Sayyaf said the council's first demand was for electoral reform and that it would pressure the government to deliver on its economic and security promises.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL and AP