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Kazakh President Says 'Enough' To Western Advice

President Nazarbaev (file photo) (CTK) November 10, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev today said that his country has had "enough" Western advice, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported.

"We know what we have to do and do what we have to do," Nazarbaev told a pro-presidential political rally in Astana. "We're already getting enough advice from here and there -- from the West, from overseas -- to tell us how to live."

There was nothing in Nazarbaev's speech to indicate possible reasons for the outburst.

Nazarbaev won reelection in a landslide in December in balloting that Western observers said fell short of international standards for a democratic vote.

"We've had enough," Nazarbaev told his audience today. "Kazakhstan is no longer a state that can be ordered about and told what to do. We know what we have to do. We shouldn't run after foreign recommendations with our pants down."

Nazarbaev made his remarks at the final congress of the Civic Party of Kazakhstan, which today merged with Otan (Fatherland), Kazakhstan's largest pro-presidential political grouping.

Kazakhstan has attracted billions of dollars in Western investment into its oil sector, and its economy is developing rapidly.

Nazarbaev today said the national economy was expected to grow by "no less than 10 percent" this year.

He estimated Kazakhstan's GDP per capita at around $6,000, compared to $400 in 1994.

(with additional reporting by Interfax-Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan Today)

Kazakhstan's Presidential Election

Kazakhstan's Presidential Election

RFE/RL's complete coverage and background of Kazakhstan's presidential election on December 4, 2005.

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