New Civilian Movement Established in Kazakhstan Says It Will Create ‘Real’ Change

ALMATY, Kazakhstan – A group of activists from Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, say they are creating a new civil movement – People’s Trust, which will eventually turn 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 an irresponsible system of government. The state does not listen to the people. Reforms are only on paper. The budget allocates large sums of money to various dubious programs and projects,” Beisebaev said, adding that the new movement had no connection. with any political opposition group, including those that have been labeled as extremists and banned in this Central Asian country.

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

Zhakei did not say when the People’s Trust movement would be transformed into a political party.

“It is impossible to hope that someone from outside will come and create the right conditions for our country. We often see on social networks that we would have a real political organization of the people. Our movement will be a real popular movement,” Beisebaev said. added.

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

Many activists in Kazakhstan have complained in recent years about the problems faced by those wishing to register new political parties, claiming that the authorities intentionally create bureaucratic obstacles to such movements.

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


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