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Kazakhstan: The existence of Alash; its mandate and relationship to the government

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 28 April 2003
Citation / Document Symbol KKT39983.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Kazakhstan: The existence of Alash; its mandate and relationship to the government, 28 April 2003, KKT39983.E, available at: [accessed 1 December 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to the Political Parties of the World, the Alash National Freedom Party is an Islamist group that is "extreme[ly] xenophobic" (2002, 282). Similarly,        The Political Handbook of the World 1999 states that the Alash National Freedom Party is "a Kazakh nationalist, Islamist, and pan-Turkic grouping" (1999, 520). Based on the Kazakhstan Republican Party, which existed since February 1992 (Kazakhstan n.d; Eurasia Research Group n.d.), "it enjoyed a brief period of popular support in the early 1990s, but was later marginalized" (Political Parties of the World 2002, 282). It later became more moderate, and, in October 1999, it ran two candidates, albeit unsuccessfully, in the Majlis parliamentary elections (ibid.). The leader of the Alash party is Sovetkazy Akatayev, or Savetqazy Aqatay (Eurasia Research Group n.d; Kazakhstan n.d; RFE/RL 16 Jan. 2002).

According to a report on Eurasianet's election watch Website, the goal of the Alash party is to revive the Kazakh nation and unify "national-patriotic forces in order to create a democratic society and an independent state" (Eurasianet n.d.). The report states that the party, which has branches in nine regions of the country, represents the ethnic Kazakh population only and does not cooperate with other parties (ibid.). However, the report does state that the party approves of the programme of reforms and politics (ibid.) of the government's ruling Fatherland Party, or OTAN, which won "the largest number of seats" in the October 1999 elections (Political Parties of the World 2002, 282; Election 22 Feb. 2003).

An article on the Kazakhstan Government Website explains the aim of the Alash party as being the building of a "democratic national and legal state based on principles of humanism, social and national justice, economical independence and territorial integrity of the country" (Kazakhstan n.d.).   

The Eurasianet Website report states that the Alash party was officially registered in the spring of 1999 and that it consists of representatives from rural regions and members of the scientific and artistic community of Kazkh origin (Eurasianet n.d.). However, an 18 April 2003 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report states that four parties, including the Alash party, were refused reregistration in March 2003 as a result of a new law "that raised the minimum number of members that a party must have in order to register from 3,000 to 50,000" (RFE/RL 18 Apr. 2003). The report quotes the Deputy Justice Minister as saying that the parties '"were denied reregistration because of their reported violations of the Civil Code, as well as the laws on political parties, noncommercial and public organizations"' (ibid.). The Deputy Justice Minister further stated that "these parties' charters did not clearly delineate their leaders' authority or were ambiguous about certain property issues" (ibid.). In fact, '"[v]iolations of property regulations were the most common reason for refusing permission to reregister"' (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References 22 February 2003. "Elections in Kazakhstan."  

[Accessed 15 Apr. 2003]

Eurasia Research Group. n.d. "Enhancing Civic Rights Through Public Participation."

   [Accessed 15 Apr. 2003]

Eurasianet. n.d. "Information on Political Parties Participating on the Basis of Party Slates in Elections to Majilis of Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan." [Accessed 15 Apr. 2003]

Kazakhstan. n.d. "Major Political Parties and Public Associations in the Republic of Kazakhstan." [Accessed 15 Apr. 2003]

The Political Handbook of the World 1999. 1999. Edited by Arthur S. Banks and Thomas

C. Muller. Binghampton, NY: CSA Publications.

Political Parties of the World. 2002. 5th ed. Edited by Alan J. Day. New York: John Harper Publishing.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). 18 April 2003. Central Asia Report. Vol. 3, No.15. "Curtains for Kazakh Opposition Parties."

______. 7 March 2003. Newsline. [Accessed 24 Apr. 2003]

______.16 January 2002. Kazakh Report. "National Alash Party Denounces United Democratic Party of Kazakhstan." (Eurasianet 16 Jan. 2002) [Accessed 23 Apr. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

The Europa World Year Book 2002

IRB Databases

Political Parties of Eastern Europe

Internet site, including:

Amnesty International

Eurasia Research Group

Gateway to Kazakhstan

Human Rights Watch


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Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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