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Kazakh Report: September 21, 1999


21 September 1999

CANDIDATE TO MAZHILIS CRITICIZES THE GOVERNMENT, LAWS.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Almaty that Sharip Omarov - a candidate to the Lower House of Kazakh Parliament criticized the Kazakh government at a press conference on September 20. According to Mr. Omarov, the state budget allocated by the Kazakh government for 2000 is, as he said, "anti-people". He said that the government was motivated by its own interests neglecting the needs of the country's youth and pensioners. He also said that the current Kazakh law on elections "was far from being really democratic", adding that there was no guarantee that the elections to the Lower House of the Kazakh Parliament, scheduled for October 10, would be held in a truly democratic way.

LEADERS OF CIVIL PARTY MET WITH SOLDIERS GUARDING KAZAKH-CHINESE BORDER ON THE EVE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.
Leaders of the Kazakh Civil Party, which is known to be pro-government, met with soldiers and officers guarding the Kazakh-Chinese borders on 19 September. They brought $4000 worth of goods to the border guards. Leaders of the Party stated at the meeting that they were the first political party of Kazakhstan which had decided to pay attention to the needs of the Kazakh National Army.

BOMB BLAST REPORTED IN QOSTANAY REGION.
A bomb exploded on September 20 at a restaurant in the town of Tobyl, in Qostanay region, North Kazakhstan. No casualties are reported. But several houses around the restaurant were slightly damaged. The restaurant itself was ruined. Investigations are underway.

This year, 32 cases of false warnings of planted bombs were registered at the Kazakh Emergency Situations Agency. 11 warnings were about bombs in buildings secondary school buildings. On 19 September Almaty City Police detected 6 machine guns and 11 pistols in a taxi belonging to Auto-park #2 of the former Kazakh capital. Investigations are underway.

15 MILLION TONS OF WHEAT EXPECTED TO BE HARVESTED THIS YEAR IN KAZAKHSTAN.
Correspondents of RFE/RL quote the Kazakh Agriculture Ministry as reporting that about 15 tons of wheat are expected to be taken from the fields of Kazakhstan this fall. The harvest season is scheduled to finish at the end of September. Last year the amount of wheat harvested in Northern Kazakhstan was about 7.5 million tons. The biggest wheat harvest was reported in Kazakhstan in 1992, just after receiving independence. It was 32 million tons at that time.

ALMATY CITY MAYOR VISITED SUBWAY CONSTRUCTION SPOTS.
Victor Khrapunov, Mayor of Almaty City, visited Almaty subway on September 20. He was the first official of Kazakhstan who decided to go down into the underground to visit the subway construction since construction works started 12 years ago. During that time, only 7.5 kilometers of tunnel have been dug. Khrapunov walked on foot the distance between two underground stations-to-be, Rayimbek and Zhibek Zholy. He told journalists afterwards that a foreign company, which he did not name, was going to invest up to $1 billion towards the construction of the underground transportation system in the former capital.

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