Last week, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov, who is also a popular blogger, proposed to the online community via Twitter
that he hold an online conference.
Masimov asked the audience on his blog to vote for a website to host the conference. "There have been many proposals, from which I suggest you make your choice. Voting results will be published on April 28,” Masimov wrote on his blog
. The Kazakh Service of RFE/RL, Radio Azattyq’s website azatyq.org, was among the websites presented in his list.
On April 26, Radio Azattyq, which regularly hosts popular online conferences with ministers and other newsmakers, reported about the contest
and asked its readers to vote for its website. Within an hour of the report on Radio Azattyq’s website, about 10,000 votes readers voted in favor of Radio Azattyq, around 76 percent of the total (see the screenshot above). So far, so good.
But to our readers’ surprise, half an hour later the official number of votes
for Radio Azattyq mysteriously shot back down to around 5 percent. Very strange. Later that day, the site administrator claimed that “because of a hacker attack” the result was rigged in favor of Radio Azattyq and they had to correct it.
But despite the “official” result, Masimov agreed that he'd hold an alternative online conference on azattyq.org, in addition to the other site zakon.kz, which was announced as the official winner of the contest.
If Masimov keeps his promise, it would be first ever online conference with a Kazakh official that has become possible thanks to new media like Twitter and without the standard bureaucratic exchange of letters.
-- Yedige Magauin