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Kyrgyz Report: April 20, 1999


20 April 1999

PRESIDENT AKAYEV'S ADDRESS TO PARLIAMENT.
According to the presidential press service, President Askar Akayev will deliver his annual address to parliament at a joint session of the two parliamentary houses (the People's Assembly and the Legislative Assembly), to be held in Bishkek on 20 April. The 16th session of the People's Assembly will begin with this meeting. The main theme of the address will be agricultural reform.

President Akayev will present newly appointed Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev to the People's Assembly and ask the Assembly to approve that appointment. Also, the People's Assembly will consider the amendments to the law on state budget for 1999.

KYRGYZ-RUSSIAN COMMISSION CONVENES.
The first meeting of the Kyrgyz-Russian inter-governmental commission began in Bishkek on 19 April. According to the governmental press service, there are 8 items on the agenda of the meeting and it includes trade and economical cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Russia in following 10 years, cooperation in hydro-energetics, in finance and banking, military assistance and others.

Co-chairmen of the commission are Vice Prime Minister Esengul OmurAliyev of Kyrgyzstan and Russian Minister of Railroad Transport Nikolai Aksenenko. Aksenenko was received by President Askar Akayev and Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev during the morning of 19 April.

SPRING LANDSLIDES.
Sultan Urmanaev, Minister of Extraordinary Situations, said in Bishkek on 19 April that some 20 landslides have occurred in the country recently, but no casualties were reported. According to Urmanaev, the ministry's rescue forces are currently fortifying dams and river banks. He said the government gave the ministry 34 million soms (about $1 million) in the last 3 months. Also, the World Bank has given Kyrgyzstan a 10-million-som loan and the US government has given $1 million for such works.

FOUR MPs DEPRIVED OF AUTHORITY.
The Central Electoral Commission announced in Bishkek on 19 April that it stripped four parliament deputies of their parliamentary authorities at its meeting held on 16 April. They are: - Emil Uzakbaev, appointed Minister of Agriculture last December, - Tynybek Alykulov, appointed Minister of Ecology last January, - Sheraly Sydykov, appointed Director of the State Agency on Sport and Tourism, - Malabek Toktobolotov, appointed Deputy Minister of Finance.

According to the constitution, any government member could be member of parliament.

MEMBER OF THE HIGH COURT MURDERED.
The Interiour Ministry announced in Bishkek on 19 April that 41-year-old Altynai Kojenova, Member of the Court of Arbitartion of Kyrgyzstan, and her 13-year-old son were murdered in her house in the town of Kant on 17 April. The killers also robbed her house, taking all jewelry and about 1,000 soms and $1000 in cash.

Kojenova had become a member of the Court of Arbitration two and a half years ago, she had worked at the Kant district prosecutor office for 12 years before.

KYRGYZSTAN WITHOUT NATURAL GAS STILL.
Deputy Director of the Kyrgyzgas state gas company Toktosun AbduvAliyev told an RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 17 April that difficult negotiations with Uzbek authorities on the resumption of natural gas deliveries are under way, but it could not be expected the gas supply would be resumed soon.

According to him, Kyrgyzstan owes Uzbekistan $4.5 million for gas. The Kyrgyzgas cannot pay all debts to Uzbekistan because it cannot collect payments for gas from users in Kyrgyzstan. According to Abduvaliev, the country's enterprises owe Kyrgyzgas 218 million soms (about $6.5 million) to date. AbduvAliyev says it is necessary to shift the country's heating system and other uses from natural gas to coal and water-generated electricity. Gas deliveries from Uzbekistan were halted 2 weeks ago.

ALCOHOL OUTPUT DECREASING.
Mukambet Ibragimov, management head of the Bakai company announced in Bishkek on 17 April the industrial output of the company has fallen ten times compared with 1998, when its turnover was 430 million som (about $12 million). The Bakai is a leader in the Kyrgyzstan's alcohol industry and includes 18 enterprises.

According to Ibragimov, the cause of the fall in output are high taxes and the government's incompetence in the industrial sector. The directors of the Kant cement plant and Kara-Balta mining complex, Ilya Bessmertny and MP Jalgap Kazakbayev, also accused the government of incompetence on 17 April.

SPRING FIELD WORKS UNDER WAY.
The Ministry of Agriculture announced on 17 April that 90,000 out of 468,000 hectares of arable land have already been sown. Also, 140,000 of 302,000 hectares of winter-fields have also been cultivated.

SACKED OFFICIAL APPOINTED AMBASSADOR.
The presidential press service announced in Bishkek on 17 April that President Askar Akayev has signed a special decree appointing Omar Sultanov head of the Kyrgyz Mission in Geneva. Former head of the mission, Erkin Makeev, has been dismissed "due to his transfer to another post."

Sultanov, 37, had served as Kyrgyz ambassador to Austria and then as ambassador to Germany before March 1998, when he was surprisingly appointed Akayev's chief-of-staff. He was sacked unexpectedly last December.

RATE OF THE SOM.
Rate of the Kyrgyz currency, the som, was 37.5-37.70 soms to $1 in the exchange offices in Bishkek on 17 April. According to the press service of the National Bank, the som's rate was 37.2 soms to $1 at the inter-bank trades in Bishkek on 16 April. In total, $330,000 were sold at the trades, of which the National Bank sold $290,000.

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