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Kazakh Communist Party's Activities Suspended Over Strike Work

Kazakh Communist Party leader Ghaziz Aldamzharov

Kazakh Communist Party leader Ghaziz Aldamzharov

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- The Communist Party of Kazakhstan has had its activities suspended for six months because it co-founded a movement to monitor an ongoing strike by oil workers, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

A court in Almaty ruled on October 4 that the party violated the law on public organizations by creating -- along with the unregistered Algha (Forward) party -- the People's Front movement, which has been monitoring the ongoing mass strike in the western province of Manghystau.

Party leader Ghaziz Aldamzharov told RFE/RL on October 5 that he was also found guilty of illegal "participation in an unregistered public movement" and fined 15,100 tenges ($100).

Aldamzharov said the court based its verdict on the fact that his "joining the unregistered People's Front movement caused other Communist Party members to move to that movement en masse."

He said the court's decision was politically motivated and he plans to appeal it.

Aldamzharov suggested his party's activities may have been suspended in order to preclude its participation in the next parliamentary elections.

The elections are due in August 2012, but presidential adviser Ermukhamed Ertysbaev said earlier this year they may take place sooner.

The Communist Party, the successor to the Soviet-era Communist Party, is one of the major registered opposition parties in Kazakhstan. It has some 54,500 members.

Read more in Kazakh here and more in Russian here