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Kyrgyz Report: January 28, 2000


28 January 2000

PRESIDENT AKAYEV IN DAVOS.
According to the foreign ministry, President Askar Akayev is in Switzerland on 27 January - 1 February taking part in the World Economic Forum in Davos. Kyrgyz Finance Minister Sultan Mederov and Ambassador to Switzerland Omar Sultanov are accompanying the president.

During the forum days, Akayev will meet the German and Swiss presidents, director general of the World Health Organization, the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, and other officials and discuss bilateral relations.

455 CANDIDATES REGISTERED TO NEW PARLIAMENT.
The Central Election Commission announced in Bishkek on 27 January that 455 candidates to the new parliament have been registered from the single-mandate constituencies. 239 of them are running for the 45 seats in the 60-seat Legislative Assembly (lower house) and 216 candidates are registered for the 45-seat People's Assembly (upper house). The other 15 seats in the lower house will de shared between the political parties according to the proportional system. The poll will be held on 20 February.

FORMER PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER IS NOT REGISTERED AS CANDIDATE.
Kyrgyz Ambassador to Turkey and former speaker of Kyrgyz parliament Medetkan Sherimkulov told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 27 January that the Sokuluk district court upheld a decision of the district election commission on barring him from the parliamentary elections. Sherimkulov applied for all the necessary documents to run for parliament from the Shopokov (#40) constituency, but the commission rejected to register Sherimkulov as a candidate last week saying he has not lived in the district for the last 3 years. According to Sherimkulov, he will appeal to the Supreme Court.

Sherimkulov served as the speaker of the first parliament of independent Kyrgyzstan in 1990-1994 and was appointed ambassador to Turkey in November 1998.

SOME RESULTS OF THE LAST CENSUS.
The National Statistical Board announced in Bishkek on 27 January that the population of Kyrgyzstan as of 24 March 1999 was 4,852,400. It represents 571,000 people (13 percent) more than the figure of the last census held in 1989. 50.6 percent of country��population are women and 44.4 percent are men; 34.9 percent of population are urban dwellers and 65.1 percent are rural residents.

SOME ECONOMIC RESULTS OF LAST YEAR.
The National Statistical Board released some economic results of last year too. According to these, the gross domestic product of the country increased in 1999 by 3 percent compared with 1998. Agricultural output increased by 8.7 percent, but industrial output decreased by 2 percent.

UNEMPLOYMENT IN KYRGYZSTAN.
The Directorate head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs Aigul Ryskulova held a news conference in Bishkek on 27 January on unemployment. According to her, there are now 179,000 registered as unemployed in Kyrgyzstan. 72,300 people applied for jobs in 1999 and 54,700 of them received the status of unemployed. In addition, 61,700 people are now on so-called forced vacation because their employers are able neither to provide them with jobs nor pay unemployment allowances.

LEADING ENERGETICS COMPANY WILL BE DIVIDED.
The government press service announced in Bishkek on 27 January that Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev had signed a special decree on forming 4 separate companies on the basis of the Kyrgyzenergo government company. They will be: company of hydro power stations, company for power distribution, company for heating, and company of electrical power network. According to the decree, the parceling out of the company should be completed by the end of April.

OPPOSITION POLITICIAN ISOLATED.
Chairman of the opposition El (Bei-Bechara) Party Daniyar Usenov told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 26 January that a group of doctors led by Academician Mirsaid Mirrahimov had sent a letter to Judge Gulzair Sutalinova demanding to postpone a court trial against Usenov until he was fully recovered. However, according Usenov, he is allowed in the hospital to meet with his wife and close relatives only and cannot contact his voters. The flu epidemic in the city is blamed for this.

Usenov is a member of the current parliament and was registered on 15 January as a candidate to the new parliament. According to Kyrgyz law, a registered candidate cannot be tried. Usenov's hospital ward was guarded by police from 19 to 24 January. On 25 January, he was forced to come to court, and a trial against him began. He fell ill during the trial and was delivered to the hospital intensive therapy ward the same day.

Usenov is accused of beating businessman Kengesh Mukaev, and the case began in 1996. The Pervomai district court of Bishkek closed the case last October due to a statement by Mukaev that he had nothing against Usenov. Prosecutors have renewed the case on the eve of the parliamentary elections, set for 20 February.

CIS MEETING OF CUSTOMS AND TAX OFFICIALS.
The State Customs Inspection announced in Bishkek on 26 January that meetings of heads of CIS customs and tax inspections were held in Moscow that day. Directors of the Kyrgyz State Customs Inspection Azamat Kangeldiev and State Tax Inspection Avazbek Momunkulov took part in the meetings in Moscow. Ways of strengthening cooperation in CIS were discussed.

AIR FREQUENCIES WILL BE SOLD.
Director General of the Republican Industrial Union of Radio-relay Main Lines and Radio and Tele Broadcasting Mirbek Murzabekov announced in Bishkek on 26 January that all radio and TV frequencies in Kyrgyzstan would be sold from now on according to the results of the specially organized tenders.

CAPITAL CITY INDUSTRY IN 1999.
Mayor of Bishkek Medet Kerimkulov held a news conference on 26 January. According to him, the total industrial output of the city was 4,789 million soms (about $105 million) in 1999. It is more than 4 percent than in 1998. Kerimkulov mentioned machine building, printing, chemical and medical enterprises as the best industries of the city. However, light industry implemented the annual plan by 81 percent and the electrical power industry by 61 percent only in 1999.

A proportion of the small business enterprises in total industrial output was 49 percent last year, and about 11,000 new small business firms emerged in 1999. Also, 18,356 new jobs were created last year and the city plans to create 13,800 more jobs in 2000.

DIRECTOR OF STATE AGENCY DIES.
Director of the State Agency on Sport and Tourism Sheraly Sydykov died in Bishkek on 26 January from heart attack. He was at 49. Sydykov had been a vice speaker of a parliamentary house for several years and was appointed director of the agency early in 1999.

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