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Kazakh Report: October 8, 1999


8 October 1999

OFFICE OF CANDIDATE TO KAZAKH PARLIAMENT SEARCHED BY TAX POLICE IN HIS ABSENCE.
Amirzhan Qosanov - Vice-Chairman of the Kazakh Republican People Party's Executive Committee - told correspondents of RFE/RL on 8 October that two officers of the Kazakh Tax police searched the office of Ghaziz Aldamzharov - Chairman of the party's Executive Committee on October 6 and 7. According to Mr. Qosanov, the two officers came to the office at 5:00 PM in the afternoon of October 6 and entered it without showing any sort of written sanction or other document signed by Kazakh authorities. They searched the premises and took away three boxes of documents. The next day the officers came to Mr. Aldamzharov's office again and started searching private items and other documents on the desk and in the drawers. Amirzhan Qosanov started telephoning journalists of the independent mass media, inviting them to the office so that they could see for themselves that an intrusion and search had taken place. The officers immediately left when they heard that Mr. Qosanov was speaking to journalists by phone. Ghaziz Aldamzharov himself is currently in Atyrau Oblast, Western Kazakhstan meeting with local voters. He is a registered candidate to Kazakh parliament. According to Kazakh laws, any candidate to the Parliament officially registered at the Kazakh Central Election Commission enjoys immunity. The Republican People's Party is led by the former Kazakh Premier Akezhan Kazhegeldin from exile.

ONE MORE CANDIDATE TO PARLIAMENT COMPLAINS.
Dametken Alenova, a candidate to Kazakh Parliament�s Lower Chamber - the Mazhilis - and who is registered at Turksib District of Almaty City, has accussed the district governor Boris Malinovskiy of "supporting a member of the Otan party registered as a candidate to the Parliament from that district". According to Mrs. Alenova, local authorities create "artificial obstacles for her pre-election campaign, helping this member of Otan party to advertise himself in the region". Otan is known as the pro-Nazarbayev party. Complaints similar to those of Mrs. Alenova were reported in many other election districts.

LEADER OF CIVIC PARTY DISAPPOINTED WITH WARNING MADE BY CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION.
Azat Peruashev, leader of another pro-Nazarbayev party, said to journalists on October 7 that he himself and members of his party were disappointed with the decision of the Kazakh Central Election Commission (CEC) to warn the Civic party. CEC warned the Civic party due to complaints of Azamat party leaders, who accused the Civic party of buying votes through the distribution of computers, food, clothing and medical supplies among voters throughout Kazakhstan.

PENSIONERS OF QARASAY DISTRICT STAGED PROTEST DEMONSTRATION.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Almaty that pensioners of the Qarasay Region, Almaty Oblast, staged a demonstration of protest on October 7, expressing their disapproval of the decision of local authorities to distribute food instead of overdue pensions.

KAZAKH FINANCE MINISTER HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE IN ALMATY.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from the former capital that Oraz Zhandosov, Kazakh Finance Minister and Vice Premier, held a press conference at the National Press Club of Almaty on October 6. According to Vice Premier Zhandosov, IMF considers Kazakhstan a country in deep economic crisis. Top officials of IMF, said Oraz Zhandosov, are expected to come to Kazakhstan in mid-October in become acquainted with the economic situation and business climate in the country. Only after that will the possibility of giving loans and credits to Kazakhstan be discussed, said the Kazakh Vice Premier. It is not likely, added Oraz Zhandosov, that Kazakhstan will be able to pass through the next fiscal year without foreign credits. In general, the deficit of Kazakh state treasury can be defined as $550 million. Foreign companies are hesitating to have long termed investment programs in Kazakhstan, saying that the economic situation in the country is unpredictable. As one of the possible ways to alleviate the crisis, Oraz Zhandosov stressed the need to sell shares of the joint Kazakh�American enterprise Tengizchevroil (with interests of the US oil giant Chevron) working in Western Kazakhstan. Mr. Zhandosov added, though, that the issue had not been fully decided yet. He also said that such Kazakhstani monopolies as KazTelecom and the People's Bank had to be privatized in the nearest future in order to make it possible for the country to meet the demands of fiscal year 2000. Answering journalists, Oraz Zhandosov mentioned that would be the new Premier of Kazakhstan in case he was appointed. Currently another Vice Premier, Kazakh Foreign Minister Qasymzhomart Toqayev, is Acting Prime Minister of Kazakhstan. Mr. Toqayev was appointed to that position by the Kazakh President last Friday after the resignation of Nurlan Balghymbayev, who had been Kazakhstan's Prime Minister since October 1997. Oraz Zhandosov also told journalists that the amount of money kept by Kazakh citizens in foreign banks might be between $3 billion and $4 billion.

A LEADER OF AZAMAT PARTY CRITICIZES PRE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN.
Piotr Svoik, one of the leaders of the Azamat party, held a press conference in Almaty on October 6, where he said that it was more likely that the procedure of Parliamentary elections scheduled for Sunday, October 10, would be violated. He said that local governors would be able to change the number of ballot forms any time since they have extra forms and stamps. Mr. Svoik also said that it was necessary to allow all the observers to fully participate in the process of counting the votes. According to Mr. Svoik, the Parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan would not be fair, although they were observed by international experts.

POLITICAL BLOCK RESPUBLIKA HELD SESSION.
According to information provided by correspondents of RFE/RL, the Kazakhstani Political Block called Respublika, which unites such parties and movements as the Communist Party of Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Republican People's Party, the Orleu Party, the Association of Kazakhstani Slavs, and the Unity of the Kazakhstani Cossacks and Officers Union, held a session in Almaty on 6 October. Activists of the parties and movements criticized the decision of the Kazakh Republican People's Party (RNPK), led by former Kazakh Premier Akezhan Kazhegeldin from exile, to boycott the elections. The RNPK decided to boycott the elections after the Kazakh Central Election Commission refused to register Akezhan Kazhegeldin as a candidate to Parliament's Lower Chamber. The leader of the Orleu Party, Seydahmet Quttyqadam, told correspondents of RFE/RL that he did not understand why the Kazakh President in some of his public and television speeches calls upon the population of Kazakhstan to vote or not to vote for this or that party. According to Mr. Quttyqadam, President Nursultan Nazarbayev is a voter with the same rights as any other ordinary voter and that such appeals calls are illegal.

KAZAKH PRESIDENT IN IRAN ON OFFICIAL VISIT.
Correspondents of RFE/RL quote the Press Service of the Kazakh President as reporting that President Nursultan Nazarbayev started his official trip to Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, on October 5. President Nazarbayev is scheduled to hold talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Khatami. Several mutual agreements and documents are expected to be signed. It was not officially reported what sort of issues would be discussed by the two leaders, but it is more likely that the Presidents of Iran and Kazakhstan will discuss preparations for the summit of 5 Caspian states, namely Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Turkmenistan, scheduled to be held in Tehran this month. President Nazarbayev will also meet Iran's spiritual leader Ali Khomeini, Chairman of Iran's Concord Council Akbar Hashimi Ravsanjani and speaker of Mejilis (Iranian Parliament) Ali Akbar Natek Nuri.

4 DAYS LEFT UNTIL PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that according to Kazakh law, all registered candidates to Kazakh parliament's lower house, the Mazhilis, are expected to stop their pre-election campaigns by midnight, October 8. The elections will be held on October 10. On October 6, a special group of the Central Election Commission (CEC) led by CEC's vice-chairman Quandyq Turghanqulov, revised all the reports on law violations sent by some candidates to the Kazakh Parliament and to the CEC.

The Kazakh National Congress party led by prominent Kazakh writer, Kazakhstan's Ambassador to Italy, Olzhas Suleymenov, held its session on October 5 in the former capital of Kazakhstan. The National Congress party sent an open letter to the Kazakh government and the Parliament, calling them to change the Kazakh Constitution's 6th Chapter concerning land property. According to the party leaders, land in Kazakhstan should never be privatized.

NEW REGULATIONS ON PRIVATE BUSINESSES CONTROL INTRODUCED IN ALMATY.
According to information provided by correspondents of RFE/RL, Almaty City Procuracy adopted a new regulation, according to which tax, financial, fire and sanitary control boards do not have the right to check private businesses without special written permission signed by the Almaty Procuracy. The newly adopted regulations came onto force on October 1. It is expected that such a regulation will protect owners of small and middle businesses in the former capital from bribery and illegal pressure.

VETERANS OF GERMAN SOCCER ARRIVED TO ALMATY.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Almaty that a team of German soccer veterans arrived in the former capital of Kazakhstan on October 6. They were reportedly invited to take part in a soccer match to be held between veterans of former Soviet and German soccer. The match was to be held on October 7. The program is sponsored and initiated by the well-known Kazakh businessman and owner of the Butya Company, Bulat Abilov.

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