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Kazakhstan: Premier Resigns Over Fixed Vote In Parliament

Almaty, 11 June 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakh Prime Minister Imanghali Tasmaghambetov (pictured) says President Nursultan Nazarbaev accepted his resignation and that of his entire cabinet. Tasmaghambetov, who had been prime minister since January 2002, says he requested his resignation from the president last month, but gave few details. It was not immediately clear who will take Tasmaghambetov's post.

Tasmaghambetov said he has resigned because the results of a vote of confidence he requested and won last month were falsified. The vote was over a controversial land-reform bill.

"The reason was the vote of confidence made by the parliament last month. The results of the vote were falsified. The whole performance has been organized by some deputies of Majilis [parliament's lower chamber]. As prime minister, I had no right to continue covering up the whole thing, and I asked officially our president to free me from this position on May 19."

The country's Constitutional Council yesterday confirmed the legality of the bill, which clears the way for private-land ownership in Kazakhstan.