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Kazakh Report: October 19, 1999


19 October 1999

CHIEF OF KAZAKH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE COMMENTS ON NYT ARTICLE OF OCTOBER 16.
Lev Tarakov, Chief of the Kazakh presidential Press Service, told correspondents of RFE/RL on October 19 that the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has never had, nor has any accounts in any bank of Switzerland. Mr. Tarakov mentioned that an article called "Swiss Freeze Bank Account That May Be Linked to Kazakhstan President" written by Steve LeVine and John Tagliabue, and published by the New York Times on October 16 was "not a professionally made piece". According to Lev Tarakov, the authors of the article failed to give an exact source in their article to confirm the opinion about the possibility of bank accounts being linked to the President. "I consider the New York Times to be a highly professional and reliable source, and that is why it is even more surprising for me that the newspaper published such material", said the Chief of the Kazakh Presidential Press Service. Mr. Tarakov also said that such a publication may have been caused by the current popularity of stories on money laundering conducted by former Soviet leaders in Western banks. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev himself began short-termed vacations two days prior the publication of the NYT article, and is not available for comment.

AZERBAIJANI DELEGATION EXPECTED IN ASTANA ON OCTOBER 21.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Astana that an Azerbaijani delegation led by Prime Minister Artur Rasi-Zade is expected in Astana on Thursday, 21 October. Economic and trade relations are expected to be discussed by the Azerbaijani and Kazakh Premiers.

LEADER OF ORLEU PARTY HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE.
Seydakhmet Quttyqadam, leader of the Orleu party, held a press conference on October 19 in Almaty, at which he said that Kazakhstan was facing a deep economic and social crisis. According to Seydakhmet Quttyqadam, it is necessary to hold new presidential elections in 2000 and resurrect the Kazakh Constitution of 1993 after its revision. Presidential elections were held on January 10, two years ahead of schedule. President Nazarbayev managed to introduce the new Constitution in 1995 through a referendum, and drastically amended it a year ago.

OTAN PARTY DECLARED IT IS A PARTY OF POWER.
According to correspondents of RFE/RL, Marat Ospanov - Chairman of Kazakh parliament's Lower chamber, the Mazhilis, and also known as an Otan Party member - held a press conference in Almaty on October 18. He told journalists that the Otan Party would not be a presidential party, but a pro-government one, adding that it would be also defined as a "party of power". The Otan party was created earlier in February by a group supporting Nursultan Nazarbayev during the early presidential elections held in January this year.

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