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Kazakh Report: October 12, 1999


12 October 1999

OSCE CRITICIZES PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.
OSCE representatives said at a press conference in Almaty on October 11 that "Kazakhstan failed to meet democratic standards during the parliamentary elections" held the previous day. Leaders of the OSCE mission told journalists that a full evaluation of the Parliamentary elections would be released later this month, after October 24, when the second round of voting takes place in constituencies where no candidate polled 50 percent of the vote in the first round.

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vice Chairman Igor Ostash said "If Kazakhstan is to make further progress in its transition, interference by executive authorities in the broader electoral process must be halted, and their resistance to international standards must be overcome." It was also mentioned at the press conference that Kazakhstan's having amended its electoral legislation was a good indication of that country's attempts in the direction of real democratic reforms.

Kazakhstan's Central Election Commission chairwoman Zaghipa Baliyeva told journalists that information in some mass media about violations of the law at some electoral precincts was "exaggerated." Baliyeva is scheduled to hold a press conference on October 12 at which the preliminary poll results will be announced.

Parliamentary candidate Lira Bayseitova harshly criticized the executive authorities of Almaty districts, accusing them of "supporting Otan party members, [and] making artificial obstacles for other candidates." RFE/RL correspondents also report that handicapped and elderly voters of Almaty who were unable to go to polling stations were not supplied with voting slips at their homes.

QASYMZHOMART TOQAYEV NAMED KAZAKH PRIME MINISTER.
RFE/RL correspondents report from Astana that Foreign Minister and Acting Prime Minister Qasymzhomart Toqayev was named Kazakhstan's Prime Minister on October 12. Both chambers of the Parliament (Senate and Mazhilis) approved President Nursultan Nazarbaev's proposal that Toqayev should head the Cabinet. Qasymzhomart Toqayev told deputies that his new Cabinet would mainly focus on agricultural sector of the country. He also said that it is too early to introduce laws on the land privatization in Kazakhstan. According to the newly appointed Kazakh Prime Minister, such issues as sports, pensions payment, and support of domestic producers, will be the new Cabinet's top priorities.

President Nursultan Nazarbaev announced at the parliament session that he has issued Decrees on the appointment of Vice Premier and Finance Minister Alexander Pavlov as Kazakhstan's First Vice Premier. The Governor of North Kazakhstan Oblast, Danial Akhmetov, became Second Vice Premier. The chairman of the Kazakh State Agency of Strategic Planning and Reforms, Erzhan Otembayev, was also named a Vice Premier. The Governor of Qaraghandy Oblast in central Kazakhstan, Mazhit Esenbayev, was named Kazakhstan's Finance Minister. Grigorii Marchenko was appointed as Chairman of Kazakh National Bank. The other members of the new Cabinet will be announced later.

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