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Kazakh Opposition Leaders Form Popular Front Movement


Leader of the opposition unregistered party Alga, Vladimir Kozlov, at the June 29 press conference.

Leader of the opposition unregistered party Alga, Vladimir Kozlov, at the June 29 press conference.

ALMATY -- Several Kazakh opposition parties and nongovernmental organizations have announced the formation of the Popular Front movement, which they say will take part in the next parliamentary elections, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Kazakh Communist Party leader Gaziz Aldamjarov, unregistered Alga party leader Vladimir Kozlov, and several NGO representatives expressed unity in their view of the current political situation in Kazakhstan at press conference in Almaty on June 29 for the Popular Front movement.

The various party and NGO leaders said Popular Front candidates will be promoted in the parliament through the Communist Party.

Kozlov said they decided to join together because his unregistered party and the NGOs are ineligible to participate in the parliamentary elections, which could be held as early as this year.

He added that neither he nor the heads of the Alga party's regional branches will make claims to be included on the Communist Party member list for the elections.

Kozlov told RFE/RL he will head the Communist Party's central electoral headquarters and Alga members will provide logistical support to it in the name of the Popular Front.

Igor Vinyavsky, another founder of the Popular Front and chief editor of the newspaper "Vzglyad," said Aynur Kurmanov, a civil activist who was outside Almaty at the time of the press conference, confirmed that the Socialist Resistance of Kazakhstan movement will also join the Popular Front.

At the press conference, Popular Front members distributed a statement by Mukhtar Ablyazov, the exiled former top manager of BTA Bank.

In his statement, Ablyazov criticizes President Nursultan Nazarbaev and calls for an urgent change in the political leadership in Kazakhstan.

Popular Front members denied there is a link between Ablyazov's statement and the creation of their movement.
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