The Loya Jirga, or grand assembly in Afghanistan, will gather 2,000 delegates from across the country to Kabul on Wednesday. The event has long been cast by opponents of President Hamid Karzai as the first step in his attempts to increase his power and perhaps extend his term beyond 2014. The Loya Jirga has no legal force, but with parliament suffering legitimacy problems, members of parliament fear Karzai is starting to establish an alternative over which he has much more control. The Jirga is supposed to consider a future strategic partnership with the U.S. as well as ways to re-start peace talks.
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