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New political party emerges in Iraq

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BAGHDAD, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Members of the Iraqi Communist Party and the National Democratic Party have established a new political alliance in the country, an official said.

The parties will join together, along with civil organizations and independent politicians, to form the Alliance of Democratic Powers.

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Raed Fahmi, an official in the Iraqi Communist Party, told Radio Free Iraq that the parties have worked on coordinating political activities for more than a year.

"On the political level, we believe in democracy and in the rule of law and we will work for those things," he was quoted as saying. "We will also work on building good and effective institutions in the country.

Its formal platform is set for an Oct 22 unveiling, he said. Neither party did well in past elections.

Baghdad is mulling over the details surrounding the presence of U.S. military trainers in Iraq beyond the Dec. 31 deadline to leave the country. Iraqi officials said remaining U.S. forces wouldn't get immunity.

Washington said immunity is a normal part of strategic agreements, though a State Department spokeswoman said "this is a sovereign decision that Iraq needs to make."

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