Opposition Right to Legal Appeal — Kazakh Police Detain Two Opposition Leaders Challenging Election Results

Journalist Luqpan Akhmedyarov (file photo)

Opposition International has started an awareness campaign of the right of the Opposition to challenge election results in court. Incumbent governments and electoral bureaucracies prefer to shunt disputes into conflict resolution processes, which they can control.

Taking election results disputes to court has its own problems (subject of later piece), but it does afford the Opposition an opportunity to keep an issue alive with a potential if minute resolution.

The practice of post-election litigation has become part of the African electoral recurrent drama. Donald Trump has pursued the legal course in the U.S. with the result of maximum publicity and little change as allegations proved in most cases ungrounded. It has led to “progressive” discontent with the legal tactic. That attitude is forgetful of the critical, if slow-moving, role of the courts in the 1960s to throw out the “Jim Crow”-era impediments to Black voter registration.

Kazakhstan has emerged as the front line in the struggle of Opposition parties to exercise the right to appeal election results to a court of law. The reaction of Khazakhstan government recalls the arrests of Black voting rights activists in the American South.

Opposition politician Mukhtar Taizhan was one of the two men who were detained. (file photo)

Police in Kazakhstan have detained opposition politician Mukhtar Taizhan in the country’s largest city, Almaty, and journalist Luqpan Akhmedyarov in the western city of Oral over their participation in April 9 rallies protesting the results of parliamentary elections last month.

Taizhan and Akhmedyarov said on social mediathat police detained them on April 12 on a chargeof violating regulations on public gatherings.

Taizhan was later sentenced to 15 days in prison after a court in Almaty found him guilty on the charge. Akhmedyarov’s sentencing is pending.

See the report from Radio Free Europe and the OSCE observation team.