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Jiang ally placed in key position

Beijing, March 13 (Reuters): An ally of Chinese President Jiang Zemin was elected chairman of a parliamentary advisory body today, a boon to the retiring leaderís campaign to retain influence from behind the scenes.

Jia Qinglin, 63, ranked fourth in the Communist Party, was elected overwhelmingly, with 93 per cent of the vote, as chairman of the Chinese Peopleís Political Consultative Conference.

Although the body has few powers and only advises a largely rubber stamp parliament, Jiaís election was evidence of the ability of Jiang, to place allies in position, analysts said.

Jiang, who handed the party leadership to Hu in November, is expected to retain control of the military and still have influence over policy matters after formally retiring as President.

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