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Kazakh Report: October 29, 1999


29 October 1999

POLISH PRESIDENT STARTS OFFICIAL TRIP TO KAZAKHSTAN,
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Astana that Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski arrived in the Kazakh capital the morning of 29 Ocober. He is accompanied by his spouse , Polish Premier and Polish businessmen reportedly. President Kwasniewski told journalists at the airport that the main issue to be discussed with Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev would be about preparations for the OSCE summit scheduled for this month in Istanbul, Turkey. Also further development in Kazakh-Polish cooperation in economic, trade and cultural spheres will be discussed by the two presidents. The two presidents will also focus on the Polish diaspora in Kazakhstan. Several bilateral agreements are expected to be signed.

KAZAKH PRESIDENT SENT TELEGRAM TO HIS ARMENIAN COUNTERPART.
The Kazakh President sent a telegram to the Armenian President Robert Kocharian expressing his condolences to the Armenian nation and relatives of the officials killed by terrorists this week. The Kazakh President stressed the importance of joint efforts by all the former Soviet states against terrorism. The Kazakh Foreign Ministry issued a similar statement and sent a telegram to the Armenian Foreign Ministry.

KAZAKH PREMIER DISCUSSED THE SITUATION CAUSED BY THE RUSSIAN PROTON ROCKET EXPLOSION OVER CENTRAL KAZAKHSTAN WITH HIS RUSSIAN COUNTERPART.
Kazakh Premier Qasymzhomart Toqayev spoke to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by phone in the afternoon of 28 October. The two sides discussed the situation in Central Kazakhstan after the explosion of the Russian Proton Rocket launched from the Baikonur space complex. The Russian Prime Minister agreed that the consequences of the blast had to be researched by the joint Kazakh-Russian commission. The Kazakh state commission led by Vice Premier Alexander Pavlov is currently working in the village of Aqsu, located in the Qaraghandy Oblast. All the rockets launches from Baikonur are temporarily banned by Kazakh authorities.

NO EXACT DATA ON CONSEQUENCES OF THE RUSSIAN PROTON ROCKET BLAST OVER KAZAKH TERRITORY YET.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Almaty that there are no exact data on the effect of the Russian Proton Rocket explosion over Central Kazakhstan on the ecology of Qaraghandy oblast. The blast appened on October 27 at 11:20 PM. The chief of the Kazakh Space research center, Meyirbek Moldabekov, is reported to be at the spot were the tragedy took place. It is the second such explosion over the Kazakh territory in the last 4 months. The first one, which happened on July 5, caused a temporary suspension of all rocket launches from the Baikonur Space complex in Central Kazakhstan. The main regions usually affected by space rockets of the Russian Federation are Qyzyl-Orda, Pavlodar, Qaraghandy and Eastern Kazakhstan Oblasts. Proton rockets use highly toxic fuel called hepthil.

VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE KAZAKH NATIONAL SECURITY COMMITTEE BRANCH IN SOUTH KAZAKHSTAN ISSUES WARNING.
Aqzhigit Isabekov, Vice Chairman of the Kazakh National Security Committee branch in South Kazakhstan oblast, told journalists on October 28 that different religious extremist groups from neighboring Uzbekistan were trying to use the territory of South Kazakhstan oblast for their bases and training camps. According to Mr. Isabekov, about 500 Kazakh border guards have been sent to the Uzbek-Kazakh border to strengthen the security of Kazakh territory. He also said that a new border guard post would be opened in the Tole-Bi district of the South Kazakhstan Oblast in the nearest future.

LEADER OF CIVIC PARTY: PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS WERE FAIR.
Azat Peruashev, Chairman of the Kazakhstan Civic Party, told journalists on 29 October that the Parliamentary elections held in Kazakhstan on October 10 and October 24 had been organized in a fair way, although there were some minor violations. According to Mr. Peruashev, those who failed to be elected try to gain additional popularity among the voters by blaming local authorities of fraud. The Civic Party and Otan are known as the main pro-government parties in Kazakhstan. They both managed to obtain the majority of seats in Kazakh parliament's Lower House - Mazhlis. The elections were harshly criticized by the OSCE and other international organizations as having been held with numerous violations of Kazakh laws and international standards.

NEW POLITICAL UNION CALLED "DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S FRONT" ESTABLISHED IN KAZAKHSTAN.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from the former capital that about 300 activists and leaders of 13 political movements and parties gathered at the Asyl restaurant of Almaty on 27 October. Local authorities sent police forces to prevent the politicians to gather in the building of the Kazakh Academy of Science, for which the parties and movements had paid a rental fee beforehand. In the end, it was decided to hold the meeting in the Asyl restaurant. Leaders of different parties and movements were given the floor. Seydakhmet Quttyqadam, Chairman of the Orleu party, said in his speech that President Nursultan Nazarbayev had to step down. That opinion was reportedly greeted by applaus. According to Mr. Quttyqadam, the Parliamentary elections held in Kazakhstan on October 10 and October 24 are illegal and new elections should be held next year in the country. He also added that Presidential elections should also be held in 2000, implying that the early Presidential elections held on January 10 this year were not valid. Communist leader Serikbolsyn Abdildin said that President Nursultan Nazarbayev was maneuvering in order to save his power, but his methods were anti-democratic. Former Vice-Premier Baltash Tursynbayev, who also spoke up at the gathering, told RFE/RL correspondents the next day that the Parliamentary elections had been held with numerous violations and mistakes. "President Nazarbayev and his team must understand one thing, it is not possible to cheat the whole nation... They can oppress Baltash Tursynbayev or Ghaziz Aldamzharov... but not the whole population...". At the end of the meeting a resolution was adopted according to which a new political Union called the Democratic People's Party was established. Members of 13 political parties and movements, as well as journalists, ecologists and human rights activists reportedly signed the resolution. The procedings were monitored by the police.

ONE MORE ARTICLE ABOUT THE KAZAKH PRESIDENT AND HIS POLICIES PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Correspondents of RFE/RL quote Channel 31 TV in Almaty as reporting that one more article criticizing the policies of the Kazakh president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, was published in the New York Times newspaper on October 26. The author of the article, Tina Rosenberg, criticized President Nazarbayev's policies, defining him as a dictator reportedly. On October 16, another article published in the New York Times gave details around investigations being held on some Kazakh accounts in Swiss banks, saying that one of the accounts might have been linked to President Nazarbayev himself. About $85 million is reported to have been transferred to that account from the Kazakh government's bank account in Switzerland.

A KAZAKH POLITICAL ACTIVIST ASKED POLITICAL ASYLUM IN BRITAIN.
Vladimir Chernyshev, a Kazakh political activists who failed to be elected as a member of Kazakh Parliament last Sunday asked for political asylum in Britain on 27 October. Mr. Chernyshev wrote in his letter to the British Embassy that he preferred British monarchy to Kazakh democracy.

LABOUR AND SOCIAL PROTECTION MINISTER HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE.
Kazakh Labour and Social Protection Minister Nikolay Radostovets met journalists at National Press Club of Astana on October 27. According to correspondents of RFE/RL, Minister Radostovets told journalists that the Ministry had received some recommendation on changing the Ministry's name to Ministry of Labour and Social Development. "But, I think, said Nikolay Radostovets, "it will never do to change the Ministry's name in such a way". The Kazakh minister of Labour and Social Protection said that a recommendation might free his Ministry of the duty to protect social groups in the country. "The Kazakh Constitution requires us to protect such social groups, as pensioners and elderly citizens of the country, and we shall continue doing so". The press conference was Minister Radostovets' first meeting with journalists after his having been appointed as Kazakh Minister of Labor and Social protection earlier this month.

KAZAKH PREMIER MEETS GERMAN INVESTORS IN ASTANA.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Astana, the capital, that the Kazakh Prime Minister Qasymzhomart Toqayev met a delegation of German businessmen on October 27. Mr. Toqayev told the German investors that the results of the Customs Union member-states summit held in Moscow, Russia, on October 26, were very fruitful and promising. According to the Kazakh Premier, Germany is the second main Western economic and trading partner of Kazakhstan after Britain. The German delegation called upon Kazakh authorities to revise the taxation laws of Kazakhstan. The German delegation was scheduled to meet with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on October 28.

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