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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ALMATY1508
2005-04-14 11:41:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
US Office Almaty
Cable title:  

KAZAKHSTAN: BAIMENOV WING OF AK ZHOL RE-REGISTERS,

Tags:   PGOV  PHUM  KZ  POLITICAL 
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						UNCLAS ALMATY 001508 

SIPDIS


STATE FOR EUR/CACEN (MUDGE), DRL/PHD (DAVIS)

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KZ POLITICAL
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: BAIMENOV WING OF AK ZHOL RE-REGISTERS,
PLANS TO FIELD PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

REF: ALMATY 1081



1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Alikhan Baimenov has re-registered Ak
Zhol in a very short time, thereby confirming his status as
the party's sole leader and giving credence to conventional
wisdom that the GOK supports him. He nevertheless appears
to be taking great pains to underscore the fact that Ak
Zhol remains an opposition party. On April 8, Baimenov
announced that Ak Zhol would field a presidential
candidate; observers unanimously believe it will be
Baimenov himself. Given his popularity in the regions, he
has the ability to attract significant numbers of
opposition voters away from "For a Just Kazakhstan"
candidate Zharmakhan Tuyakbay. END SUMMARY.



--------------------------

--
Baimenov Gains GOK Recognition of "His" Ak Zhol


--------------------------

--



2. (U) In an April 9 roundtable discussion at the Politon
Dispute Club in Almaty, Ak Zhol chairman Alikhan Baimenov
announced that his wing of the party had successfully re-
registered with the Ministry of Justice. (Reftel described
split between Baimenov and Abilov, Zhandosov, and
Sarsenbaiuly.) Specifically, the MOJ confirmed changes in
the party's charter providing for a single chairman instead
of the previous arrangement of five co-chairs. Baimenov
claimed that the party had not lost any members due to the
split, because the other former co-chairs had not organized
parallel branches in the regions.



--------------------------



--------------------------


And Announces Plans for Ak Zhol Presidential Candidate


--------------------------



--------------------------





3. (SBU) Confirming the predictions of many observers at
the time of the split (reftel), Baimenov announced that Ak
Zhol will participate in the upcoming presidential
elections. He refused to say whether he himself would be
the candidate, however, saying only "we'll see." Baimenov
also ducked a question about Ak Zhol's attitude toward the
candidacy of "For a Just Kazakhstan" (FJK) leader
Zharmakhan Tuyakbay.



4. (U) Baimenov took pains to emphasize that Ak Zhol
remains an opposition party. He reaffirmed previous party
decisions, such as refusal to participate in the National
Commission on Democracy and Civil Society; demanding the
release of Galymzhan Zhakiyanov; criticism of the fall
parliamentary elections; and support for the creation of
FJK. Baimenov alleged that he had tried to join FJK but
was threatened with legal action by Bulat Abilov.



--------------------------


Release of Critical Analysis of Elections


--------------------------





5. (SBU) In an announcement that may have been designed to
reinforce the party's opposition credibility, the Ak Zhol-
affiliated National Research Institute (NRI) released on
March 28 a scathing analysis of the fall parliamentary
elections. Based on a study of officially announced
election results and protocols from approximately 60% of
polling stations, NRI concluded that Ak Zhol had been
stripped of "thousands or possibly tens of thousands" of
votes in two key regions during tabulation. NRI also noted
that Dariga Nazarbayeva's Asar party and the Agrarian Party-
Civic Party bloc (AIST) had also lost significant numbers
of votes.



6. (SBU) COMMENT: The ease and speed with which Baimenov
was able to re-register Ak Zhol, thereby taking full
control of the party's name and much of the staff, appears
to validate the conventional wisdom that the GOK has chosen
Baimenov's side in the party split. He is the only major
figure in the new Ak Zhol and thus the presumed
presidential candidate. With his popularity in the regions
and likely access to administrative resources, Baimenov
could draw significant opposition votes away from Tuyakbay.
END COMMENT.



7. (U) Minimize considered for Dushanbe.

ORDWAY


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