Kazakhstan authorities registered the country's opposition alliance of Democratic Choice party and the Communist party before a presidential election.
The For a Fair Kazakhstan movement said in a statement that the Justice Ministry had handed in its registration papers Tuesday. The registration allows the movement to nominate its own candidate to challenge longtime President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the expected December vote.
The movement called the registration "a joint victory for democratic forces."
For a Fair Kazakhstan is led by former parliament Speaker Zharmakhan Tuyakbai, who is expected to run against Nazarbayev - an ex-Communist boss who has been in office for 16 years and is accused by critics of increasingly of authoritarian rule. He has said he would seek another seven-year term.
Tuyakbai resigned in September to protest what he said were flawed parliamentary elections.
The For a Fair Kazakhstan alliance was formed in February and is made up of the three main opposition groups - the Nagyz Ak Zhol party, the disbanded Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan party and the Communist party.
The movement is backed by the exiled former Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, who was barred on a technicality from challenging Nazarbayev in 1999 elections, the AP reports.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea