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Kazakh Opposition Faction To Form New Party

20 April 2005 -- A faction in Kazakhstan's main opposition party says it is forming a new party to join other parties in backing a single candidate in upcoming presidential elections.

Three politicians who broke away from the Ak-Zhol (Bright Path) party today said they are forming a new group called Nagyzgy Ak-Zhol (Real Bright Path).

Altynbek Sarsenbaev, a former co-chairman of Bright Path who is now forming the Real Bright Path, said, "The difference [from the now split Aq-Zhol party] will be visible through our further activities. To outline, set down and propagate the program and to implement that program are two different things. We shall be Naghyz Aq-Zhol (Real Bright Path), implementing its program into real life."

Kazakh law states that a new party can apply for official registration if it has at least 50,000 members.

The three politicians have argued with other Ak Zhol members over forming an alliance with other groups that would back a single candidate to challenge President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

Nazarbaev is seeking another term in office when his current mandate expires in January 2006. So far, no date has been set for the elections.