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Kazakh Opposition Party Loses Registration Battle

Alikhhan Baimenov founded the Ak Zhol Democratic Party (RFE/RL) 21 December 2005 -- Kazakhstan's opposition Naghyz Ak Zhol party has lost its appeal against an official refusal to register the group.

The party released a statement today saying that the Astana City Court had rejected their petition to overturn the Justice Ministry's decision not to allow the party to register.

The party's statement called the court's decision "illegal and anti-constitutional." Naghyz Ak Zhol is a splinter party of the Ak Zhol party, which was formed after Ak Zhol leader Alikhan Baimenov cast out several other party leaders earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Bakhutgul Makimbay, the editor in chief of the opposition newspaper "Juma Times-Data Nedeli," told RFE/RL today that she received a letter from the Almaty Inter-Regional Economic Court ordering the newspaper's activities temporarily suspended.

Kazakh authorities confiscated all copies of the newspaper at least three times before and after presidential elections in the country earlier this month.

(RFE/RL's Kazakh Service with agencies)

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