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Kazakh Report: September 10, 1999


10 September 1999

ON VITALIY VORONOV'S LATEST STATEMENT.
Correspondents of RFE/RL interviewed Amirzhan Qosanov, the Vice-Chairman of the Kazakh Republican People Party's Executive Committee, on September 10, asking him to give detailed information about the situation concerning Vitaliy Voronov - one of the most prominent members of the Party, whose written statement was read by the Chairwoman of the Kazakh Central Election Committee Zaghipa Baliyeva on 8 September at a press conference. The statement signed by Vitaliy Voronov said that he intends to stop any sort of relations with the Kazakh Republican People's Party and its leadership. Amirzhan Qosanov told RFE/RL that Vitaliy Voronov's whereabouts are unknown. Meanwhile the party's leader, former Premier Akezhan Kazhegeldin told RFE/RL on 9 September that Vitaliy Voronov is in Moscow. According to Kazhegeldin, he had spoken to Vitaliy Voronov by phone after the latter's escape to the Russian capital. Vitaliy Voronov told Kazhegeldin that "he had been not able to inform Mr. Kazhegeldin about his having signed the statement beforehand". In a written statement, Akezhan Kazhegeldin said that Vitaliy Voronov might have been pressured to sign the statement. Amirzhan Qosanov told RFE/RL correspondents that Akezhan Kazhegeldin was refused registration as a parliamentary candidate by the Kazakh Central Election Commission because "the accusations of tax evasion and the non-respect of the Kazakh court" brought against him have not been lifted. According to Amirzhan Qosanov, the Kazakh Republican People's Party has decided to boycott the Parliamentary elections.

A former member of the Kazakh Republican People's party - Lira Bayseitova told RFE/RL journalists that Vitaliy Voronov might have been motivated in his decision to break with Kazhegeldin and his party by the fact that the Party's elections staff had not received the necessary financial support from Mr. Kazhegeldin.

ELECTION CAMPAIGN CONTINUES.
A member of the pro-government Civil Party, Daulet Baydeldinov, who is known as a candidate to the Kazakh Parliament, visited the Almaty City's underground construction sites and met with construction workers. The underground construction in the former capital of Kazakhstan has been facing huge problems since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Of the planned 11 kilometer-long tunnel made for the underground communication, only 600 meters have been dug in the last 7 years. The underground construction's foreman Murat Oqshaubayev told RFE/RL correspondents on September 10 that the situation around the construction is getting worse and worse every year, adding that only foreign companies could save the construction. The situation is worsening as the ground waters are filling some of the parts of the tunnel that have been dug.

BELGIAN COMPANY MIGHT QUIT WORKING IN KAZAKHSTAN.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Almaty that Almaty Power Consolidated Joint Kazakh-Belgian venture warned the authorities of the former Kazakh capital about their intention to quit working in the area if their demand to increase fees for the housing utilities, namely electricity and heating supplies, is not met. The Kazakh State Antimonopoly Committee made a decision not to satisfy the Kazakh-Belgian Joint Venture's demands on 9 September. Victor Khrapunov, the Mayor of Almaty City, said at a special session of the city council on September 9 that Almaty Power Consolidated was getting about $35 million in profit in Almaty oblast annually without investing a single Tenge in the Kazakh economy. He also added that the Kazakh-Belgian joint venture might stop operations in the area if they wanted.

LEADER OF THE KAZAKH COMMUNIST PARTY HELD PRESS CONFERENCE.
Serikbolsyn Abdildin, the First Secretary of the Kazakh Communist Party, held a press conference in the former capital of Kazakhstan on September 8, at which he said that his party has almost no chance to win in the Parliamentary election. He warned the population of the country that after the elections, the economic and political situation in the country will worsen. According to Abdilidin, the Kazakh government will have to start revising the state budget allocations for 2000, because the financial expenses to be used for the Parliamentary elections will affect the state treasury. One more important thing to remember, said Serikbolsyn Abdilidin, is the fact that Kazakhstan has to start repaying its international debts to its foreign partners. But the financial and economic situation in the country is "far from being normal."

CANDIDATE TO THE KAZAKH PARLIAMENT, FORMER CHIEF OF THE KAZAKH STATE CUSTOMS COMMITTEE MET WITH VOTERS AT ALMATY COTTON TEXTILE FACTORY.
Ghaniy Qasymov, former Chief of the Kazakh State Customs Committee, who also tried himself as a presidential candidate in January this year, has been registered as a candidate to the Kazakh Parliament's lower chamber, the Mazhilis. He met with voters at Almaty Cotton Textile Factory on September 8, where he mentioned that the Republic of Kazakhstan had no experience in holding "real democratic elections".

According to the Kazakh Central Election Commission, by September 9, 589 candidates had been registered to the Kazakh parliament. September 9 is the registration deadline.

ONE MORE PARTY SEEMS TO SPLIT ON THE EVE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.
The leaders of Alash party, formerly the Azat Party of Kazakhstan, Zhaqsybay Bazylbayev and Savetqazy Aqatay are at odds, correspondents of RFE/RL report. Bazylbayev accuses his colleague Aqatay of organizing the phone threats against him. Both Aqatay and Bazylbayev sent the party lists to be registered at the Kazakh Central Elections Commission. But the contents of the lists differ. Bazylbayev claims that he is the real leader of the Party, saying that Savetqazy Aqatay is just "a honorable chairman". Meanwhile Savetqazy Aqatay considers himself as the only leader of the party.

LEADER OF ORLEU PARTY SAYS KAZAKH LEADSER HAVE TO OULINE THE CONCEPITION OF THE COUNTRY'S STATEHOOD PRESERVATION.
Seydakhmet Quttyqadam - leader of the Orleu opposition party, held a press conference in Almaty on 9 September, at which he said that the Kazakh government should start working out a special political concept on the country's statehood. Quttyadam told RFE/RL journalists that his party would pay attention to that issue in case if the Party's members were elected to the Kazakh Parliament. According to Mr. Quttyqadam the current situation in the Southern Kyrgyzstan and the North Caucasus, namely in Dagestan and Chechnya, have to be taken into consideration by the leaders of Kazakhstan today. Kazakhstan may easily lose its statehood if no measures to preserve it are worked out, he said, adding that war had come closer to the Kazakh borders.

AZAMAT PARTY LEADER ALSO HELD PRESS CONFERENCE.
Piotr Svoik, a leader of Azamat Party held a press conference in Almaty on September 8, where he expressed his attitude to Otan Party and Civil Party of Kazakhstan, naming the former as a pro-Nazarbayev party and the latter as a party "defending the interests of the foreign investors".

CHIEF OF THE KAZAKH TAX INSPECTION POLICE GETS THE LOWER POSITION?
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that General Lieutenant Rakhat Aliyev, President Nazarbayev's son-in-law, lost his position of the Kazakh state Tax Control Police and became Chief of the Kazakh national Security's Department in Almaty City and Almaty Oblast under a Decree signed by his father-in-law on September 8. Experts say that Rakhat Aliyev may become Chief of the Kazakh National Security Committee (formerly KGB) in the nearest future. One of the closest allies of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Nurtay Abyqayev, who was also known as a political figure number 2 in Kazakhstan, was ousted from that position earlier last month after the scandal around the sale of Kazakh military jets to North Korea.

PROMINENT MEMBER OF THE KAZAKH REPUBLICAN PEOPLE�S PARTY QUITS.
Chairwoman of the Kazakh Central Election Commission Zaghipa Baliyeva acquainted journalists on 8 September with an official statement of Vitaliy Voronov, one of the most active members of the Republican People' s Party of Kazakhstan led by former Premier Akezhan Kazhegeldin from exile. Voronov announced his decision to quit the party, accusing its leadership, namely Akezhan Kazhegledin, of pursuing "personal ambitions, forgetting about the real needs of Kazakhstan." According to Voronov, the Kazakh opposition needs a a strong political figure in order to unite all the sound powers of the society on its way towards the real democracy. "I quit the party and stop any sort of relations with its leadership in general, and with Mr. Kazhegeldin in particular", wrote Vitaliy Voronov in his official written statement sent to the Kazakh Central Election Commission.

SOME CANDIDATES TO THE KAZAKH PARLIAMENT EXPRESS DOUBTS.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that a leader of Alash Party, Zhaqsybay Bazylbayev, told journalists on September 7, that he is going to give up his intention to participate in the elections to the Kazakh Parliament, adding that some unknown persons had warned him by telephone several times this week, demanding him to withdraw. Meanwhile another candidate to the Kazakh Parliament, the President of Alsi Computing Company Isakhan Alimzhanov, also expressed his doubts about his participation in the elections campaign, saying that it had come to his attention that the monthly salaries of the Kazakh Parliament's members were too low. The leader of the Kazakh Communist Party, Serikbolsyn Abdildin, also told journalists on 7 September that he does not expect that his party to win the election, explaining his opinion by, as he said, the "current undemocratic situation in the country".

The deadline for the registration of the candidates to the Kazakh parliament is September 9. International observers started arriving in Kazakhstan. The elections to the Kazakh Parliament's Upper Chamber � Senate will be held on September 17. New members of the Lower Chamber � Mazhilis � will be elected on October 10.

RUMORS OF BUBONIC PLAGUE'S SPREAD IN ALMATY OBLAST INCREASE AFTER A DEATH LAST WEEKEND.
A person died in one of the villages of Zharkent area, Almaty Oblast on 4 September. The results of the medical examination following the death have never been announced, which caused some rumors that the death was due to bubonic plague. Cases of the bubonic plague have been noticed in Western Kazakhstan last month. Correspondents of RFE/RL quote some officials of Almaty Oblast as saying that the death on 4 September had nothing to do with the bubonic plague virus. But the local inhabitants do not exclude the possibility of the bubonic plague in the area.

ABOUT 100 CRIMINALS TO BE RELEASED FROM PENITENTIARIES OF ASTANA.
According to correspondents of RFE/RL, about 100 criminals serving their penalty terms in jails and labor camps in Astana area are scheduled to be freed this week within the framework of the program of the Presidential Amnesty Decree's implementation. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a Decree on Amnesty last month, according to which many inmates of the Kazakh prisons are scheduled to be released by the end of this year. The economic and financial crisis in the country made it hard to keep and feed the jails inmates. Tuberculosis in the penitentiary system has become one of the most acute problems for the Kazakh government these days. The Amnesty is intended to lighten the burden of the Kazakh Interior Ministry.

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