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Kazakh Opposition Leader Vows To Stay In Politics

30 August 2004 -- One of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev's political rivals today said that he will stay in politics as a member of Kazakhstan's opposition.

Ghalymzhan Zhakiyanov, leader of the opposition Democratic Choice party, made his remarks at a press conference in the city of Shiderty. He promised to stay in politics, and called on authorities to ensure free and fair parliamentary elections next month.

Zhakiyanov said the government's plan to introduce an electronic voting system during the October polls, as well as a lack of opposition representatives in local committees, raises doubts that the vote will be fair.

Kazakh opposition members say the electronic voting will allow authorities to manipulate the vote.

Zhakiyanov is currently on probation after serving a jail term on corruption charges -- charges he has always denied.