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Kazakh Report: October 15, 1999


15 October 1999

KAZAKH PRESIDENT BEGINS SHORT VACATION.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that President Nursultan Nazarbaev started his short term vacation on 14 October. The same day, Central Election Commission chairwoman Zaghipa Baliyeva issued a statement that she has fallen ill. The results of the Parliamentary elections held five days ago in Kazakhstan have not been announced yet. The US Embassy in Kazakhstan made it clear that it will express its official position on the Parliamentary elections only after the official announcement of the polls results. Some candidates to the Kazakh parliament's Lower Chamber accuse the Central Election Commission and the Kazakh President of "intentionally postponing the announcement of the results of the poll." Some candidates started organizing a movement in order to sue the Central Election Commission and local commissions, accusing them of falsifying the election results.

NEW CABINET APPOINTMENTS.
President Nazarbaev issued a number of decrees before leaving for vacation on 14 October, according to which Qyrymbek Kosherbayev was appointed Minister of Education and Science, Nikolay Radostovets - Minister of Labor and Social Protection, Qayirbek Suleymenov - Interior Minister and Commander of the Kazakh Interior Forces, and Vladimir Shkolnik - Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy. All the other ministers retained the portfolios they held in the previous Cabinet headed by Nurlan Balghymbayev.

KAZAKH COPPER PRODUCING COMPLEX AT ODDS WITH BRITISH NOBLE COAL.
According to correspondents of RFE/RL, the Kazakh Copper producing giant QazaqMys was sued by the British Noble Coal in an International Court. Noble Coal accuses QazaqMys of failing to meet obligations set out by the two companies in their agreement signed four years ago. According to the agreement QazaqMys was supposed to ship about 5,000 tons of cathode copper to the U.K. Noble Coal has paid $15 million to the Kazakh side, but QazaqMys has not yet supplied Britain withany copper. The International Court found QazaqMys guilty and ruled that it should pay Noble Coal $16 million in damages. The South Korean company Samsung, which owns the main part of QazaqMys' shares, hesitates to accept the verdict.

GASOLINE GETS CHEAPER IN THE FORMER CAPITAL OF KAZAKHSTAN.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Almaty that in the last several days gasoline in the former capital started getting cheaper. The local citizens explain the unusual fact by increased imports of Chinese gasoline. Kazakh experts say that about 1,500 tons of the Chinese gasoline is brought to Almaty daily. At present approximately 60 per cent of all petrol sued in Kazakhstan is imported from China. The most interesting thing is that the gasoline brought from China is being developed from crude oil exported from Kazakhstan to China.

RESULTS OF 10 OCTOBER PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS STILL NOT ANNOUNCED.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from the former capital that results of the 10 October elections to the Kazakh parliament's Lower Chamber - Mazhilis have not been announced yet. Central Election Commission members say that the vote count is still underway. The Chairwoman of the Association of Independent Sociologists, Bakhytzhamal Bekturganova, told journalists on October 13 that the exact number of potential voters in Kazakhstan is not clear yet. She also added that the statement made by the Central Election Commission about participation of 62 per cent of the voters in the elections is "doubtful". According to the Independent Sociologists, between 30 and 40 per cent of all of the voters participated in the elections. Bekturganova also said that the Communists were leading in the ballots. Otan party members received 16 per cent of the votes, Civic party - 12.3 per cent, Agrarian party - 8.8 per cent and Azamat party - 8.4 per cent of the votes, she said. Communist Party of Kazakhstan leader Serikbolsyn Abdildin told journalists that the longer the polls results are not announced, the greater the doubts that they were fair.

NEW APPOINTMENTS TO THE KAZAKH CABINET.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Astana that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on 13 October issued Decrees according to which Kazakh Agency on Economic Planning was reorganized into the Ministry of Economy. Zhaqsybek Kulekeyev was appointed as Minister of Economy. Qayrat Kelimbetov was named as the new Chief of the Kazakh Agency of Strategic Planning and Reforms. General Sat Toqpaqpayev was appointed Defense Minister, Erlan Idrisov - Kazakh Foreign Minister, and Qanat Saudabayev - Chief of the Kazakh Premier's Office. Qadyrzhan Damitov was appointed Presidential Advisor.

Under the same Decrees the Education, Sports and Health Protection Ministry, Science and Higher Education Ministry were merged and a new Ministry of Education and Science was established. Also separate Health Protection Agency, as well as Sports and Tourism Agency were established.

KAZAKH CITIZENS IN PAKISTAN DO NOT FACE DANGER, KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTRY.
Kazakh Foreign Ministry Press Sevretary Rasul Zhumaly told RFE/RL correspondents in Astana on 13 October that officially 73 Kazakh citizens are registered as permanently living in Pakistan, adding that the exact number of shop tourists from Kazakhstan in Pakistani cities is unknown. Zhumaly said that the registered 73 Kazakh citizens are mainly employees of the Kazakh Embassy and members of their families, and students. He said the situation in Pakistan after the coup in that country earlier this week is "not dangerous for the Kazakh citizens".

KAZAKH PREMIER INTRODUCED NEWLY APPOINTED GOVERNORS TO THE NORTH REGIONS OF THE COUNTRY.
Kazakh Prime Minister Qasymzhomart Toqayev visited Qaraghandy Oblast on October 13 with the region's newly appointed governor Kamaliddin Muhamedzhanov, whom he introduced to the local population. The same day, Toqayev visited North Kazakhstan oblast and brought the new governor of the oblast, Qazhimurat Nagmanov to Petropavlovsk City, the region's administrative center.

SAUDI DELEGATION IN ASTANA.
RFE/RL correspondents quote the Kazakh Premier's Press Servive as reporting that an official delegation from Saudi Arabia led by Saudi Minister of Industry and Energy Hashim Abdalla Yamani started its official visit to Astana on October 14. The delegation is scheduled to hold talks with Kazakh Premier Qasymzhomart Toqayev and other Kazakh officials.

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