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New Civil Movement Established In Kazakhstan Saying It Will Create 'Real' Change

The new civil movement was announced in Almaty on June 23.

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A group of activists in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, say they are creating a new civil movement -- People's Trust, which will eventually transform into a political party.

The group, led by former diplomat Qazbek Beisebaev and civil rights activist Ghabiden Zhakei, told reporters on June 23 that any Kazakh citizen is welcome to join the new movement.

"Kazakhstan has a system of irresponsible government. The state does not listen to the people. Reforms are on paper only. The budget allocates large sums of money to various dubious programs and projects," Beisebaev said, adding that the new movement has no ties with any political opposition groups, including those that have been labeled as extremist and banned in the Central Asian nation.

Two opposition political groups -- Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DVK) movement and its associate Koshe (Street) party -- have been labeled as extremist and banned in the tightly controlled former Soviet republic.

Zhakei did not specify when the People's Trust movement would be turned into a political party.

"It is impossible to hope that someone from outside will come and create the proper conditions for our country. We often see on social media that we would have a real political organization from the people. Our movement will be a real people's movement," Beisebaev added.

According to Kazakh legislation, a political party can be officially registered if at least 1,000 Kazakh citizens take part in its founding congress and at least 20,000 people join the party.

Many activists in Kazakhstan have complained in recent years about problems faced by those who want to register new political parties, saying that authorities intentionally create bureaucratic hurdles to such moves.

Currently, there are six officially registered political parties in Kazakhstan. They include the Nur-Otan ruling party and five other parties loyal to it.

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