Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 28 / Trend, E.Tariverdiyeva /
Opponents of the Kazakh authorities have failed to demonstrate the necessary level of popular support even in the opposition-minded southern capital of Kazakhstan - Almaty, a member of Trend Expert Council, the chief editor of the Caucasus Bulletin news and analytical agency Alexei Vlasov said.
"But the government is forced to act on the "imposed" scheme and to tighten the screws, that is not good for the country's international reputation", he said. According to Vlasov, it is clear that the dialogue between the government and the opposition doesn't succeed and what is happening in major cities of Kazakhstan is similar to the Russian post-election scenario on a small scale.
Kazakhstan's leadership had to limit Internet communications and arrest editors of opposition newspapers and leaders of the opposition National Social-Democratic Party (NSDP) because it fears that the more lenient conduct would be perceived as an indication of the regime's weakness, the expert believes.
The opposition, he said, actively calls on the international public opinion, as within the country, and especially in the provinces, it has little hope for opposition forces' activity.
Further developments will depend on how well the new government will be able to use the proven "carrot and stick approach," Vlasov said.
"Judging by the keynote address of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev to the Parliament, a social modernization program and the fight against corruption will be offered as a major bonus for the population", said Vlasov.
Opposition National Social-Democratic Party on Saturday held an unauthorized rally in Almaty. Its organizers protested the results of the recent parliamentary elections, where the party garnered 1.68 per cent of the vote. By some estimates, more than a thousand people participated in the rally that ended with opposition leaders Amirzhan Kosanov and Bulat Abilov being jailed for 15 days.
Protesters also demanded the release of a leader of the unregistered "Alga" party Vladimir Kozlov, Popular Front's activist Serik Sapargali and chief editor of "Vzglyad" (View) newspaper Igor Vinyavsky who were arrested for "inciting social discord" and involvement in the Zhanaozen clashes in December that killed 16 people.