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Kazakh Report: October 26, 1999


26 October 1999

OSCE MAKES STATEMENT ON KAZAKHSTAN'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from the former capital of Kazakhstan that the OSCE mission in Almaty held press conference in the evening of 25 October at which the OSCE official viewpoint on the Parliamentary elections held in Kazakhstan on October 10 and October 24 was announced. OSCE's Hrair Balian told journalists that the elections had been held in a way which might be defined as being far from international standards. "Kazakhstan failed to meet its obligations and promises given to the OSCE", said Mr. Balian, adding though that the elections might have been called "a step towards democracy". About 200 international observers worked in Kazakhstan during the elections. Almost 400 written protests had been received by the Kazakh Central Election Commission from the failed candidates after the first stage of the elections held on October 10. The OSCE will continue cooperating with the Kazakh government and the Central Election Commission. The OSCE mission also expressed its gratitude to the Kazakh government and Central Election Commission for their mutual cooperation.

CHAIRMAN OF THE KAZAKH LOCAL OBSERVERS CENTER ON PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS.
Dos Koshim - Chairman of the Kazakh Local Observers Center - told RFE/RL corespondents that 865 volunteers had been working at local election points during the elections. Mr. Koshim said that local authorities had interfered in the voting and the counting of the votes. In many cases, said Mr. Koshim, some voters had filled out the ballot forms for their family members. According to Dos Koshim, the elections held in Kazakhstan were a step backward, not a step towards democracy.

DAY OF REPUBLIC MARKED IN KAZAKHSTAN.
The population of Kazakhstan marked the Day of Republic on October 25. 9 years ago, on October 25, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic adopted a resolution on announcing Kazakhstan's sovereignty. Thousands of Almaty citizens gathered on the Republic's Square in the center of the former capital on Monday in order to mark the date. Leaders and activists of Otan, Agrarian and Civic parties were also among those gathered. The three parties, known as pro-government parties, managed to get seats in Kazakh Parliament's Lower Chamber- Mazhilis as a result of the Parliamentary polls held last Sunday. In the last 9 years Kazakhstan has held 4 Parliamentary elections and adopted three Constitutions. The last one, adopted through a referendum in 1995, was drastically amended a year ago in October, 1998.

TENGIZCHEVROIL'S SHARES SALE STILL NOT CLEAR.
It is not clear if shares of the Kazakh-American joint venture TengizChevroil (with the involvement of interests of America's giant - Chevron) belonging to the Kazakh government will be put to tender or not. Correspondents of RFE/RL report that the final decision will depend upon IMF's position. IMF hesitates to provide Kazakhstan with additional financial credits due to the worsening democratic norms and human rights situation in that oil-rich Central Asian country. Early Presidential elections held earlier this year were harshly criticized by international organizations. The parliamentary elections held on October 10, and October 24 were also critically evaluated by international observers. In case the IMF does not allocate financial credits for Kazakhstan, the Kazakh government will have to sell its shares in Tengizchevroil in order to overcome the current economic hardships.

THE SECOND ROUND OF PALIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN KAZAKHSTAN IS OVER, FINAL RESULTS TO BE ANNOUNCED.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report about some results of the second round of the elections to the Majlis, lower chamber of Kazakh parliament. Voter turnout was about 50 per cent, the Central Electoral Commission announced. According to latest data, 2,933,050 voters (49.95 per cent) of the eligible 5,872,466 voters had cast their ballots.

Low turnouts were in the capital and major city: Astana (24 per cent) and Almaty (22 per cent) reportedly. The highest one was in the Almaty region (about 63 per cent).

The run-off elections involved 94 candidates and were held in districts where no candidate received the minimum 50 per cent of votes during the first round of the elections on October 10. Forty-seven of the 77 seats in the Majlis were at stake.

It was not clear on 25 October whether any opposition candidates managed to win at the one-seat constituencies.

According to correspondents of RFE/RL in Almaty, some candidates like the editor-in-chief of the 21st Century newspaper, Bigeldi Gabdullin, as well as correspondent of RFE/RL Batyrkhan Darimbet failed to win.

Meanwhile all 10 seats at the Majlis to be distributed among the political parties are currently engaged. Nine political parties were vying for 10 seats. And according to the central electoral commission, those ten seats were distributed in the following way: the Republican Party of Otan (Fatherland) got four seats, the Communist Party, the Agrarian Party and the Civil Party of Kazakhstan got two seats each. The remaining parties did not get 7 per cent of votes needed for taking part in the distribution of seats, the commission announced.

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