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Kazakh Report: January 16, 2002


16 January 2002

KAZAKHSTAN'S NATIONAL SECURITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN CONFIRMS REPORTS OF PLANS TO ASSASSINATE KAZAKH PRESIDENT.
Kazakhstan's National Security Committee chairman Nartai Dutbayev told members of the Kazakh Parliament's Lower Chamber in Astana on January 16 that international terrorist organizations prepared attempts to murder President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Dutbayev said that all the possible attackers have been taken under strict control and special investigations have been carried out. He did not identify the would-be perpetrators or specify the date of the planned attack. According to Dutbayev, all necessary measures are being taken to prevent any future such attack

Dutbayev's statement was made during parliament debates on possible amendments to several laws on the struggle against international terrorism. Those amendments were proposed prior to the 11 September terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Kazakhstan's Premier Qasymzhomart Toqayev announced in late November that unnamed international terrorist groups had planned at least two assassination attempts against Nazarbayev (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 November 2001). That statement came in the wake of the political scandal caused by the stand-off between Nazarbayev's son-in-law Rakhat Aliyev and a group of young Kazakh politicians. Aliyev was susbsequently transferred from the position of Vice-Chairman of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee to that of Vice commander of the Presidential Guard.

On 16 January RFE/RL's bureau in Astana learned that Rakhat Aliyev was appointed Chief of Kazakhstan's Olympic Committee earlier this week.

LEADERS OF KAZAKHSTAN'S DEMOCRATIC CHOICE ARRIVE IN SOUTH KAZAKHSTAN
Leading members of the Kazakhstan's Democratic Choice (DVK) movement arrived in Shymkent, South Kazkahstan, on 16 January where they held a press conference at which they called for drastic amendments to Kazakhstan's election laws. Former Deputy Prime Minister Oraz Zhandosov, one of the co-founders of DVK, warned that foreign investors may stop pumping money into the Kazakh economy if, as he said, "democratic illiteracy prevails in the country."

It was also announced at the press conference that DVK leaders plan to bring a law suit against Prime Minister Toqayev for insulting them by implying that they were behind the alleged attempts to kill President Nazarbayev. The majority of DVK leaders are young Kazakh politicians whom Nazarbayev dismissed in late November following Toqaev's statement about the alleged plot to kill Nazarbayev.

NATIONAL ALASH PARTY DENOUNCES UNITED DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF KAZKAHSTAN
Kazakhstan's United Democratic Party, which consists of the Azamat, National Congress and Republican People's parties, has announced its intention to hold a gathering in Almaty on January 19. On January 16, leaders and activists of the National Alash party led by Savetqazy Aqatay held a meeting in Almaty at which they harshly criticized the leaders of Kazakhstan's United Democratic Party and accused them of trying to undermine social stability in Kazakhstan. Aqatay argued that Kazakhs traditionally need a leader, and therefore Kazakhstan should remain a presidential republic. It would be totally inappropriate to establish a parliamentary republic in Kazakhstan, the National Alash Party leader said.

REGIONAL SEMINAR ON ANTI-TERRORISM ACTIVITIES HELD IN ALMATY
On January 16 a regional seminar on the joint struggle against terrorism was held in Almaty in which experts from Central Asian states, Russia and the U.S. participated. U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan Larry Napper also attended. Napper told journalists that the United States is not going to place any kind of military bases on Kazakh soil at present but did not rule out that it might do so at some future date. In general, it was reported at the seminar that such issues as drugs trafficking and strict border guarding are very important to joint efforts to strengthen security in Central Asia. Napper also said that those issues were discussed by Presidents Nazarbayev and George Bush at their talks in theWhite House last month.

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