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Kazakh Report: September 3, 1999


3 September 1999

ARMENIAN PRESIDENT MET WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF ARMENIAN DIASPORA IN KAZAKHSTAN.
During an official visit to Astana on 2 September, Armenian President Robert Kocharian met with representatives of the Armenian diaspora ethnic Armenians living in Almaty, Qaraghandy, Petropavlovsk, Aqtobe and Qostanay. According to official statistics there are about 19,000ethnic Armenians living in Kazakhstan.

CHAIRWOMAN OF THE KAZAKH ELECTION COMMISSION HELD PRESS CONFERENCE.
Central Election Commission chairwoman Zaghipa Balieva told journalists on September 2 that the party lists of the Otan Party (18 members) and the Communist Party (6 members) have been officially registered for the Parliamentary elections. She also said that the next two parties to be registered were the Azamat Party and Agrarian Party of Kazakhstan. As for the Alash Party and the former prime minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin's Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan, said Zaghipa Baliyeva, they will be fully registered if they are able to provide all the necessary documents by September 9.

The Chief of the Central Election Commission's Legislation Department, Vladimir Foos, told RFE/RL correspondents that it is not likely that Kazakh Workers Movement leader Madel Ismailov and Akezhan Kazhegeldin will be able to take part in the Parliamentary elections. According to Foos, Ismailov cannot been registered as a candidate to the Kazakh Parliament due to his having been imprisoned for one year in 1998 for "publicly insulting President Nazarbayev"s dignity". As Kazhegeldin, the charges against him of tax evasion and illegal possession of property abroad have not been lifted yet. Foos also said that Kazhegeldin still has not provided a special certificate from psychiatric clinic confirming that he is healthy. Asked by RFE/RL correspondents if the old certificate given by Akezhan Kazhegeldin to the Central Election Commission 10 months ago when he tried to register as a presidential candidate is valid, Foos answered that the certificate is outdated and anything "might have happened in those 10 months".

SEMINAR ON HUMAN RIGHTS BEING HELD AT THE KAZAKH PARLIAMENT.
A seminar on human rights organizations and their development in Kazakhstan began on 2 September in the at the Kazakh Parliament. Yevgenii Zhovtis, Chief of the Kazakh Bureau of Human Rights and Rule of Law, told journalists on 3 September that the main idea of the seminar is to discuss the opportunities for the development of the current human rights organizations in Kazakhstan and possible creation of new human rights boards in the country.

TWO CONTAINERS WITH RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCE BROUGHT BY UNKNOWN PERSONS TO CHEMICAL WASTE FIELD IN ALMATY REGION.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that two containers with chemical and radioactive waste were found on the territory of the field for chemical waste in the area of Almaty. It is not clear who brought the two containers there. Preliminary investigations disclose that the containers were brought to the field in the night between September 1 and September 2. The radioactive wastes found in the containers are reportedly not very dangerous. Investigations are underway.

AZAMAT PARTY LEADERS HELD PRESS CONFERENCE.
Leaders of the Azamat Party, now renamed the Democratic Azamat Party, held a press conference in the former capital of Kazakhstan on September 2, where they said that the decision of the Kazakh government to sell its shares of the Tengizchevroil US-Kazakh joint venture is the first step towards the "distribution of Kazakhstan's national property among power holders". Azamat Party Chairman Ghalym Abelseitov told journalists that Kazakh government sources had informed him about plans to put to tender such industrial giants as the Aqtobe�Munay and Aqtau�Munay Oil Companies, the Qazaq�Mys Copper Producing Corporation, as well as the National Bank of Kazakhstan and KazTelecom. Another Azamat party leader, Piyotr Svoik, told journalists that the Kazakh leadership will try to establish a two�party political system in the country, adding that according to unnamed officials the two parties selected to rule the state are the Otan and Civil parties. Svoik said that the Otan party is "purely pro-government," and the Civil Party of Kazakhstan is supported by foreign investors.

VETERANS OF AFGHAN WAR APPEAL TO PRESIDENT.
Members of Kazakhstan's Union of Afghan War Veterans held a press conference on September 2 in Almaty. The veterans said that the current Parliament neglects the problems faced by Afghan War veterans and their families. They sent an open letter to Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev asking him to dismiss the current Parliament of Kazakhstan. They also warned that they will sue the current Kazakh Parliament for "violating the rights of war veterans". In Almaty oblast alone there are 912 veterans of the Afghan war living there permanently.

MEMBER OF KAZAKH OPPOSITION WANTS HIS RIGHTS PROTECTED.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Almaty that on September 2, Vladimir Chernyshov, a member of the Kazakh Republican Opposition Block, applied to the British Embassy in Almaty and sent a special letter to President Nursultan Nazarbayev asking to protect his right to take part in the Parliamentary elections as guaranteed by the Kazakh Constitution. Chernyshov has been refused the right to register at one of the single mandate election districts. Kazakh officials told Chernyshov that he had organized non-sanctioned mass gatherings in August 1998 and in April 1999. Mr. Chernyshov said that he had nothing to do with either of those gatherings.

'NOVOYE POKOLENIYE' NEWSPAPER SOLD TO MANGHYSTAUMUNAY GAZ OIL COMPANY.
The ManghystauMunay Gaz Oil Company purchased all the shares of the "Novoye Pokoleniye" Newspaper on September 2, RFE/RL correspondents in Almay reported. Officially, the former owner of the company of the newspaper "Kazakhstan Today" decided to sell the newspaper due to financial difficulties. The new owner of "Novoye Pokoleniye" is going to increase the salaries of the newspaper's employees by up to 30 percent.

KAZAKH OFFICIALS AGREE TO ALLOW RUSSIA'S PROTON ROCKETS TO BE LAUNCHED FROM BAIKONUR SPACE CENTER IN CENTRAL KAZAKHSTAN.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Almaty that Kazakhstan has officially granted Russia permission to resume the launches of Proton rockets from the Baikonur Space Center in Central Kazakhstan. On September 1, special talks devoted to the issue were reportedly held in the Kremlin between Russian Vice Premier Iliya Klebanov and his Kazakh counterpart Alexander Pavlov on the basis of a separate meeting held by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Bishkek last week during the summit of the "Shanghai Five" state leaders. The Director of Russia's Space Research Center, Yuriy Koptev, told journalists on 1 September that the next Proton rocket will be launched from Kazakh soil on September 6.

Kazakhstan had banned all Proton rockets launches from Baikonur in July after the pollution of Central Kazakhstan's Qarqaraly National Park caused by a Proton rocket explosion, in which about 50 tons of highly toxic liquid called hepthil used for Proton rocket fuel were spilled. Russia agreed to pay Kazakhstan $270, 000 as a fine for the accident.

STATE SHARES OF KAZAKH-AMERICAN OIL JOINT VENTURE TO BE SOLD.
Kazakhstan's authorities have decided to sell 10 percent of the country's 25 percent stake in the Kazakh-U.S. joint venture Tengizchevroil to private companies. Tengizchevroil is the most important oil producing joint venture working in west Kazakhstan. Nadir Nadirov � a Kazakh academician and oil specialist - thinks that the idea is very promising and that it will open some new ways for the development of Kazakh oil production. Meanwhile some Kazakh officials, including the governor of theWestern Kazakhstan Oblast, Imanghaliy Tasmaghambetov, oppose the idea.

DAUIR PUBLISHING HOUSE REFUSES TO PUBLISH SOME NEWSPAPERS.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that the state publishing house Dauir keeps refusing to print some local newspapers. Almost all the state run newspapers and journals stopped being financially supported by the Kazakh government about a month ago. Some of them have managed to find new sources of financial support but are now facing new problems finding an alternative publisher.

PRESIDENT NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV ADDRESSED FIFTH SESSION OF KAZAKH PARLIAMENT.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Astana that Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed the fifth Session of Kazakh Parliament on 1 September. In his speech Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan is going "to step over the threshold of the 21st as a country respecting democratic principles." According to the Kazakh President, the Parliamentary elections scheduled for this and next month will be held on "real democratic principles". "We can say with pride", he said, "that democratic principles are turning into the norm of everyday life in Kazakhstan." Praising the achievements of Kazakh economy this year, President Nazarbayev criticized the Kazakh Cabinet and the National Bank of Kazakhstan, accusing them of "tactical mistakes made last year and this year". "It was a big mistake", said the Kazakh leader, "to let the Kazakh national currency, the Tenge, float." According to Nazarbayev, the Kazakh Cabinet and National Bank of Kazakhstan need to create a more flexible and fruitful policy corresponding to the current economic situation and the world's economic and financial crisis, which hit the Kazakh economy as well. President Nazarbayev added that in such circumstances it is not appropriate to keep implementing reforms in the systems of pension payment and taxation.

President Nazarbayev called upon the whole nation to be "careful during the Parliamentary elections," adding that some politicians do not have any creative programs to offer the multi-ethnic people of Kazakhstan. He said that some politicians just wanted to satisfy their ambitions, which might "lead to the collapse of Kazakhstan"s unity, its sovereignty and statehood." "Those who wan revenge are politicians who used to be officials until just recently, and who failed to meet their duties and obligations, who committed a lot of mistakes with which we are fighting today," said President Nazarbayev.

CHAIRWOMAN OF KAZAKH CENTRAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION HELD PRESS CONFERENCE.
Zaghipa Baliyeva, Chairwoman of the Kazakh Elections Commission, held a press conference in Astana on 1 September, where she told journalists that about 600 new applications from possible candidates to Kazakh Parliament were received by the Central and local election commissions on 31 August, the last day for the receipt of application. According to Baliyeva, 11 political parties will take part in the elections through party-list system. The last political party, the Political Alliance of Kazakh Womens' Organizations, applied on August 31.

Baliyeva also told RFE/RL correspondents that according to the Kazakh laws on elections, any person registered officially as a candidate to Kazakh Parliament enjoys deputy immunity, which seems to make it possible for the leader of the Kazakh Republican People's Party, former Kazakh Premier Akezhan Kazhegeldin, to return to Kazakhstan and take part in the elections without being prosecuted. Kazhegeldin has been officially accused of having not paid taxes and of illegally possessing some property in the West.

KAZAKH-RUSSIAN BORDER DEMARCATION DISCUSSED IN KREMLIN.
Correspondents of RFE/RL quote the Kazakh Foreign Ministry as reporting that the first round of Kazakh�Russian negotiations on the demarcation of the Kazakh�Russian border was held on August 31 in the Kremlin. The negotiations were held due to a joint Russian-Kazakh document signed by the presidents of Kazakhstan and Russia on October 12 last year. After gaining its independence in 1991, Kazakhstan signed such agreements with neighboring China and Kyrgyzstan. The Chinese�Kazakh border was demarcated this year. Uzbekistan, which borders Kazakhstan in the South, hesitates to discuss the issue of border demarcation. According to international law, any new country, after receiving its statehood, has to demarcate its borders with its neighbors in order to turn the borders into real state borders.

KAZAKH MILITARY FORCES DO NOT TAKE PART IN MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SOUTH KYRGYZSTAN.
Acting Kazakh Minister of Defense Bakhytzhan Ertayev held a press conference in Astana on 1 September, where he said that reports about Kazakh military units participating in the military operation in South Kyrgyzstan are "far from the truth". Lieutenant-General Ertayev told journalists that a small group of Kazakh military experts has been sent to neighboring Kyrgyzstan to observe the situation in the Batken area. Kyrgyz military units with the assistance of the Uzbek air force have been fighting with religious extremists who infiltrated Kyrgyz territory from Tajikistan a fortnight ago. The terrorists are holding a number of hostages, including four Japanese geologists.

INHABITANTS OF KARAGUZHIKHA VILLAGE, EASTERN KAZAKHSTAN, APPEALED TO THE KAZAKH GOVERNMENT.
Correspondent of RFE/RL report from Oskemen, Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast, that inhabitants of the Oblast's Karaguzhikha village organized a special gathering this week and sent a letter to the Kazakh government asking the government to "protect the ecology and safety of the village". Part of a Russian space rocket fell on the village this week. This is not the first time that Russian rocket debris has fallen down on the territory of the village. During the launch of every Russian spaceship from Baikonur, Central Kazakhstan, or during its return back to Earth, debris has fallen on Eastern Kazakhstan's Karaguzhikha village. The village citizens want the Kazakh government to put a stop to such occurrences.

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