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Kazakh Report: September 7, 1999


7 September 1999

AKEZHAN KAZHEGELDIN�S PARTY SPLITS?
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Almaty that Lira Bayseitova, a former member of the Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan, held a press conference on 6 September, at which she announced the establishment of a new political union called Respublika-2000. Bayseitova said that 15 members of the Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan, which is led by former Kazakh Premier Akezhan Kazhegeldin from exile, decided to leave the party in order to create Respublika-2000. According to Bayseitova, the newly established political entity has managed to open branches in five regions of the country. The newly established party is not going to take part in the Parliamentary elections since the registration deadline has passed. But Lira Bayseitova will reportedly participate in the elections as an independent candidate.

SOME CANDIDATES SUE THE CENTRAL ELECTION COMMITTEE.
Several candidates to the Parliamentary elections appealed to Almaty�s Auezov District Court to prolong the terms of the registration to the Parliamentary elections beyond the 9 September deadline. A group of candidates led by Galina Berestova officially accused the Kazakh Central Election Commission of "intentionally mixing some documents in order not to register some candidates before the deadline". It turned out that some potential candidates to the Kazakh Parliament were not registered at the Kazakh Central Election Commission on time due to "missing documents". The deadline for application was August 31. The Auezov District court started hearing the case on September 6.

KAZAKHS TO START GUARDING KAZAKH-UZBEK BORDER THIS WEEK.
A group of Kazakh border guards (about 200) was sent to the South Kazakhstan Oblast bordering with Uzbekistan on 6 September. Traditionally Kazakhstan has been mainly guarding its border with the People's Republic of China. The group of border guards will officially start guarding the Kazakh�Uzbek border on September 10.

ABRUPT TEMPERATURE FALL MAY AFFECT WHEAT HARVESTING IN NORTH KAZAKHSTAN.
Correspondents of RFE/RL quote the Kazakh Extraordinary Situations Commission and Interfax Kazakhstan News Agency as reporting that the weather in North Kazakhstan may suddenly become cold (down to minus 3 degrees by Celsius) in the night of 6 September. If the prognosis is true, it will affect the wheat harvesting campaign in the area. North Kazakhstan is the main wheat producer of the country.

KAZAKH BUREAU ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND RULE OF LAW ON SITUATION FACED BY ETHNIC KAZAKHS IN XIN JIANG.
Yevgenii Zhovtis, Chief of the Kazakh Bureau on Human Rights and Rule of Law, shared with journalists on September 6 the bureau's assessment of the situation of ethnic Kazakhs living in the Xin Jiang province, historically known as Eastern Turkistan, in western China. According to Chinese official statistics, there are about 1, 500,000 ethnic Kazakhs living in the area currently. Some sources say that the number of ethnic Kazakhs living in Xin Jiang is about 2 million. The Chinese authorities allow only two persons from each Kazakh family living in Eastern Turkistan to visit their relatives in Kazakhstan. Mr. Zhovtis called such a policy an "abuse of human rights." He also said that the Kazakh government also violated the human rights of ethnic Kazakhs who had come to Kazakhstan for permanent residence from Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, China and other countries and who had been not able to get Kazakh citizenship yet.

KAZAKHSTAN MARKED CENTENARY OF OIL INDUSTRY IN KAZAKHSTAN.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that the Kazakh government marked the centenary of the oil industry in the country. The celebrations were organized in Atyrau oblast, West Kazakhstan.

According to information provided by RFE/RL correspondents, $15 million was spent on the anniversary celebrations, during which the governor of Atyrau Oblast, Imangaliy Tasmagambetov, again expressed his disagreement over the government's decision to sell nearly half of its share of the Tengiz oil field in the Caspian. The Tengiz oil field is one of the world's most prized reserves. The governor of Atyrau Oblast said that the main part of the regional budget depends on this oil field. The new President of KazakhOil State Oil company Uzaqbay Qarabalin supported Tasmagambetov.

KAZAKH FM TO JAPAN.
According to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry press service, Foreign Minister and Vice Premier Qasymzhomart Toqayev has left for Japan. He will take part in an international conference devoted to problems of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, to be held between September 6 and 9. According to RFE/RL correspondents in Astana, Toqayev will meet with his Japanese counterpart, as well as the Japanese Prime Minister.

TWO EXECUTIVES IN ALMATY REGIONAL PROSECUTOR�S OFFICE DETAINED FOR BRIBE TAKING.
According to information provided by RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty, a prosecutor and an investigator in the Kerbulaq district of Almaty oblast are being detained for bribe taking. The two were arrested while receiving a bribe amounting to $1,000 from an accused in order to close a criminal case. No more details are available. The press service of the Almaty regional department of the Interior Ministry refused to give any details of this case.

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