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Kyrgyz Report: December 17, 1999

17 December 1999

Second part of the last session of the parliamentary People's Assembly ended in Bishkek on 17 December. It had lasted for about 48 hours only. The Assembly has approved the law draft on the state budget for the year 2000, ratified several agreements, approved a chairman of the National bank, discussed corruption in some governmental bodies and the situation in energetics. The next parliamentary elections will be held on 20 February.

On 17 December, Director General of the Kyrgyzenergo state agency Bakirdin Sartkaziev told the session that Kyrgyzstan should transfer all its facilities that use gas to water-generated electricity. According to him, Kyrgyz hydro-power stations generate 15,000 million kWt-hour electricity yearly, and it is more than enough for the country's use. But the power lines and substations in Kyrgyzstan have become obsolete and need reconstruction. The country needs $615 million for this.

Director General of the Kyrgyzgas state company Latypjan Sagynbaev told today's session that Kyrgyzstan has paid all its debt to Uzbekistan for natural gas deliveries and there would not be any problems in January 2000. But if Kyrgyzstan does not pay for gas in the future, Uzbekistan could cut gas supplies again any time. Kyrgyzstan was without natural gas from 16 November till 11 December, due to its debt of about $4 million. However, according Sagynbaev, Uzbekistan owes Kyrgyzstan $129 million for ground rent.

On 16 December, the Assembly discussed corruption in the government and some governmental bodies and suggested that the government investigate the activities of the two former prime ministers, Apas Jumagulov and Kubanychbek Jumaliev, former chairman of the National Bank Marat Sultanov and former finance minister Taalaibek Koichumanov.

The leadership of the Kyrgyz Aba Joldoru state air company held a news conference in Bishkek on 17 December. According to the vice president of the company Valentin Narodyuk, there were some problems with aircraft fuel and some flights were delayed and cancelled last week. Now, about 1,000 tons of fuel have been bought and all the problems have been resolved. However, department head Khalid Valeev told the meeting that the company owes $360,000 to the Aalam fuel company and has no possibility to pay the debt. According to him, a ticket price for a flight from Bishkek to Osh could be raised three times in the near future - from 650 soms to 2,000 soms. Rate of the som is 45 soms to the $1 now.

CIS Executive Secretary Yriy Yarov arrived in Bishkek on 17 December and met with President Askar Akayev. According to the presidential press service, the two discussed preparations to the next CIS summit to be held in Moscow on 21 January.

According to the governmental press service, Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev took part on 17 December in a meeting of prime ministers of the Central Asian Economic Union, held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Economic cooperation between the four states, and joint rehabilitation of nuclear waste sites especially, were discussed at the meeting. A special working group on the problem was formed at the meeting. Also, the premiers discussed the problem of the formation of a joint economic area in Central Asia.

According to the Central Election Commission, its Chairman Sulaiman Imanbaev departed to Moscow on 16 December to observe the Russian parliamentary elections to be held on Sunday. Also, a meeting of the heads of the central election commissions of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan will be held in Moscow. A special council of CEC chairpersons of the CIS Customs Union would be formed at the meeting. The five states are members of the Customs Union.

President Askar Akayev decorated several members of parliament on 17 December with state awards. MP Jamin AkimAliyev was decorated with the Third Class of Manas Order. The two speakers of parliamentary houses (Abdygany Erkebaev and Usup Mukambaev) as well as members of parliament Jamgyrbek Bokoshev, Bahtiyarjan Fattahov and Jypar Jeksheev were decorated with the Glory Medal. Akayev signed the decree regarding this on 10 November.

A protest demonstration in front of the Russian embassy in Bishkek was held today. It had been organized by the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan. The participants demanded a stop to a total war against the Chechen nation. Dmitri Vadenko, an aide to Ambassador Georgi Rudov, received the chairman of the movement Tursunbek Akunov and the two discussed the problem related to this. Akunov handed Vadenko a protest letter addressed to Russian authorities.

Delegation of the OSCE office in Warsaw on human rights and democratic institutions had a several meetings in Bishkek on 16 December. They arrived in Bishkek on 14 December and have already held a special seminar on cooperation between governmental bodies and non-governmental organizations.

On 16 December they met separately with Justice Minister Nelly Beishenalieva, leaders of several non-governmental organizations and political parties. Beishenalieva said during the meeting that the Kyrgyz Electoral Code corresponds to high international standards and that the next parliamentary elections would be fair and democratic. The opposition leaders say they have doubts about this, because violations have already begun. The ministry and the Central Election Commission, for instance, have barred the El (Bei-Bechara) party from the elections only because there were no words on the participation of the party in parliamentary elections according to its own regulations.

A delegation of the World Health Organization arrived in Bishkek on 16 December. They will take part in a conference on the health care situation in Kyrgyzstan, to be held in Bishkek on 17 December. According to the presidential press service, President Askar Akayev plans to attend. Newly appointed Health Care Minister Tilek MeimanAliyev will deliver a speech.

The Moscow-based Novaya Gazeta weekly published on 14 December an article on President Askar Akayev's son-in-law Adil Toigonbaev. According to the paper, Toigonbaev controls almost all Kyrgyz energetics, transport, communications, alcohol industry and air service. In addition, he is controlling the privatization process in the sugar and cotton industries too and is promoting Kazakh citizens to posts as heads of Kyrgyz companies.

Toigonbaev himself is a Kazakh citizen and married Akayev's elder daughter Bermet in October 1997.

Director General of the governmental Kyrgyzgas company Latypjan Sagynbaev held a news conference in Bishkek on 15 December. According to him, Uzbekistan owes Kyrgyzstan for ground rent much more than Kyrgyzstan had owed Uzbekistan for natural gas deliveries. Sagynbaev said Uzbek enterprises are developing some gas deposits on the border territories which had been taken on lease from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and which have not paid rent since 1992. Now, according to Sagynbaev, Uzbekistan owes Kyrgyzstan $129 million. About 100,000 cubic meters of natural gas are produced daily at the two gas deposits, the Maily-Suu-4 and the Sokh, which are situated on the leased area.

The parliamentary People's Assembly approved on 15 December a law draft on the state budget for the year 2000. According to the draft, prepared by the government and amended twice since last September, the government expects 9,735,000,000 soms (about $215 million) of revenues against 9,550,000,000 soms of expenditures. Finance Minister Sultan Mederov reported to the Assembly on the draft yesterday.

The Pervomai district court of Bishkek ruled on 15 December to leave valid a decision by the Central Election Commission to bar the El (Bei-Bechara) party from parliamentary elections. Founder of the party Melis Eshimkanov told RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek that the party would appeal to the Supreme Court.

The commission prohibited the party last month to nominate its members to parliament according to a party list. This was done on the recommendation of the Ministry of Justice, and the party had then sued the ministry. According to the ministry, there had been no word on the participation of the party in parliamentary elections in its regulations.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the fourth meeting of the Kyrgyz-Chinese inter-governmental commission on economics and trade will be held in Beijing on 16-20 December. The Kyrgyz delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Muratbek Imanaliev. Co-chairman of the commission from the Chinese side is Quian Sian, deputy minister of foreign trade.

On 15 December a session of the parliamentary People's Assembly approved the appointment of Ulan Sarbanov as chairman of the National Bank. He has been acting chairman since early this year.

According to the presidential press service, President Askar Akayev has signed a special decree appointing Osmonakun Ibraimov presidential press secretary and first aide to President Askar Akayev. Ibraimov served as presidential press secretary for a short period in 1994, then he was appointed vice prime minister. Most recently, he has been Kyrgyz ambassador to India. Former presidential press secretary Kanybek ImanAliyev was dismissed on 22 November.

The Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights (KCHR) released on 14 December its 17-page report (in English) on monitoring of the last local elections in Kyrgyzstan. According to the KCHR there were a lot of violations before and during the elections.