Naghyz Ak Zhol
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The Naghyz Ak Zhol (English: True Bright Path) is a former Kazakh political party. It was founded by Bulat Abilov, Altynbek Sarsenbaev, Oraz Zhandosov, and Tulegen Zhukeyev, and held its first constituent congress on 29 April 2005. Altynbek Sarsenbaev was murdered on 12 February 2006, sparking much protest from party opposition.
Its constituent congress was held on 29 April 2005. The party was formed as a split from the Ak Zhol party. Differences between the platforms of Ak Zhol and Naghyz Ak Zhol parties are vague, if they exist at all. The split seems to be a result of personal struggles within the Ak Zhol leadership, which have effectively plagued Kazakh opposition since independence. On February 13, 2005 Ak Zhol Party co-chairman Alikhan Baimenov, cast a vote of no confidence in Altynbek Sarsenbayev, another co-chairman, alleging that Sarsenbayev had been violating the party constitution prohibiting collaboration with other political parties. Sarsenbayev had been active in the formation of the “Coordinating Council of Democratic Forces,” an alliance including the Communist Party and the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan movement. Apparently this dispute caused the split in Ak Zhol Party.
The party's co-leaders were Bulat Abilov, Altynbek Sarsenbaev, Oraz Zhandosov, and Tulegen Zhukeyev until Sarsenbayev was murdered. The appeal of Naghyz Ak Zhol, like all other opposition parties, among the electorate is insignificant. Naghyz Ak Zhol was denied official registration for more than a year, effectively disqualifying it from nominating a candidate for the presidential elections in December 2005.
Naghyz Ak Zhol, unable to nominate Altinbek Sarsenbaev as a candidate, supported the presidential candidate of the opposition coalition For a Just Kazakhstan in the December 2005 elections. On June 11, 2007 the party merged with the Nationwide Social Democratic Party of Kazakhstan led by former presidential candidate Zharmakhan Tuyakbay.
Altynbek Sarsenbaev was murdered on 12 February 2006 outside Almaty. The opposition held a number of protests accusing the government for murdering Sarsenbaev because of his intimate knowledge of Kazakhgate scandal. The trial of Sarsenbaev killing was concluded with the conviction of Erzhan Utembayev, the former administrative head of Senate, and 9 others led by Rustam Ibragimov, a member of Kazakh Internal Security Forces, Aristan. According to the verdict Utembayev paid Ibragimov to kill Sarsenbaev because of the latter's derogatory remarks about him published in a newspaper.
Nagyz Ak Zhol co-leader, Bolat Abilov, has faced a number of criminal investigations which he strongly condemns as politically motivated. Charges involve “assaulting a police officer” and his business activities in 1990’s when he was the head of Butya Holding.
- Ibragim Alibekov, Kazakhstan’s Leading Opposition Party Faces Split, Eurasia Insight, February 16, 2005, http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav021605.shtml.
- Cengiz Surucu, 4 Aralık 2005 Kazakistan Başkanlık Seçimleri Üzerine Gözlemler, OAKA, vol: 1, No: 1, 2006, pp. 153-158.
- BBC News, Suspicions raised over Kazakh deaths, February 14, 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4712674.stm
- BBC News, Kazakh official 'admits' killing, February 27, 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4757312.stm
- BBC News, Ten convicted over Kazakh murder, August 32, 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5302474.stm
- Kazakhstan Experiences Political Shift, Eurasia Insight, November 17, 2006, http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav101706.shtml