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Kazakhstan: President Continues Government Reshuffle

By Merkhat Sharipzhanov

Almaty, 1 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakhstan's President Nursultant Nazarbayev continues a reshuffle of the government.

Nazarbayev decrees name General Mukhtar Altynbayev as Defense Minister, replacing Alibek Kasymov, who was reportedly to have left this post due to health problems. Altynbayev was a deputy minister, and had commanded the Kazakh Air Force since 1993.

Nazarbayev also appointed Abish Kekilbayev as State Secretary, Hayrolla Ospanov as Industry and Trade Minister, and Qirimbek Kosherbayev as Nazarbayev's press secretary. These appointments are being made in the absence of Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, who is currently in Japan. Nazarbayev also appointed Erkesh Nurpeyisov and Aytgul Samakova as members of the Kazakh Parliament's upper house.

President Skeptical About Crime Report

President Nursultan Nazarbayev yesterday met representatives of the Interior Ministry, the State Investigation Committee and the General Procuracy.

Our correspondent reports that, after hearing a series of reports, Nazarbayev expressed skepticism about assertions that there had been a significent drop in crime. Nazarbayev ordered the authorities to prepare a draft new Crime and Professional Code by November 15.