25 January 2000
UN EXPERTS MEET WITH KAZAKH SENATORS.
Members of International Affairs and the Defense and Security Committee of the Kazakh Parliament's Upper Chamber � Senate - met with experts of the UN Development Program on January 25. The experts told the Kazakh Senators that "many people told him that a lot of laws adopted by the Kazakh Parliament were relatively inefficient". The UN program on Social Development has reportedly allocated $400,000 for assistance to the Kazakh Parliament.
NEW TAXATION CODE TO BE ADOPTED IN MARCH THIS YEAR.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Astana that the draft of the new Taxation Code will be given to Kazakh Parliament for discussion in the end of March this year. Kazakh Finance Minister Mazhit Esenbayev met with members of Kazakh Parliament's Upper House � Senate � on January 25 and discussed the draft of the Code, which had been called by the Kazakh Prime Minister Qasymzhomart Toqayev "the most important document of the year". Senator Ermekqali BigAliyev told correspondents of RFE/RL that the state budget for 2000 will be revised by Kazakh Parliament after the full adoption of the new Taxation Code.
CENTRAL MOSQUE OF ASTANA TO BE REPAIRED.
Imam of Astana Muslims, Serik Oraz, and Vice Mayor of Astana Qayrat Nazarbayev visited the Central Mosque of the Kazakh capital on January 25. Vice Mayor Nazarbayev told journalists that the Astana Administration had allocated 1,200,000 Tenges ($1 equals 140 Tenges) for repairing the mosque. By March 15 preliminary repairs are expected to be completed. The complete repair of the Central Mosque will be accomplished by mid-May, reportedly. Correspondents of RFE/RL report that the repair work will be extensive and very expensive. The money allocated by the City Administration will not be sufficient to carry out the project.
INDEPENDENT PERIODICALS IN SEMEY FACE PROBLEMS.
An independent journalist Kenzhebek Nurqasym told correspondents of RFE/RL on January 25 that newspapers Arna and Semey Tany in Semey (Semipalatinsk), Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast had printed an article published by the newspaper Novoye Pokoleniye, followed by some protests from local authorities. The article was about problems faced by the Ulba Metallurgic Plant. The facility situated in Oskemen used to be led by the current governor of Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast - Vitaliy Mette. The Semey City Council sent a letter to the Kazakh General Prosecutor Yuriy Khitrin asking him to "evaluate the article printed by the newspapers Arna and Semey Tany and to conduct the necessary measures to prevent such materials in future". The newspaper Arna has reportedly faced similar problems recently, after having printed some articles about Akezhan Kazhegeldin, the former Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and now the leader of the Kazakh Republican People's Party in exile.
FORMER KGB BUILDING IN ALMATY NOW BELONGS TO ASSOCIATION OF REPRESSED PEOPLE.
Correspondents of RFE/RL in Almaty report that the former building of the KGB in Almaty now belongs to the Kazakh Association of Repressed People. Chairman of the Association, 91- year-old Bekbolat Mustafin, who had spend 18 years in KGB prisons, said in his interview to RFE/RL that the building was built at the beginning of the main repression campaign, in 1934. The street in front of the building used to be named by Felix Dzerzhinski, after the founder of the Soviet KGB.
Mr. Mustafin, who was arrested in 1938 and spent one and a half years in this building's prison, said that just in several days of 1938 - from February 25 to March 13 - 560 people were executed in this building.
KAZAKH PRESIDENT TO MEET RUSSIAN LEADER.
Correspondents of RFE/RL in Almaty report that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev will meet Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow. According to latest reports from Almaty, President Nazarbayev left Almaty the afternoon of 24 January and is scheduled to meet Putin on January 25.
Last Saturday President Nazarbayev met Premier Qasymzhomart Toqayev who visited Russia last week. Nazarbayev and Toqayev discussed the Premier's 100 days in office. Official reports say that the two spent 100 minutes in a discussion of the 100 days of the new government.
Correspondents of RFE/RL in Almaty report that perspectives of relations between Kazakhstan and Russia had been discussed, too.
FORMER SPEAKER OF THE KAZAKH PARLIAMENT DIED.
Marat Ospanov, well-known politician, leader of the Otan Party and speaker of the previous Parliament passed away last Sunday. He was 50 years old.
President Nazarbayev and Premier Toqayev visited Ospanov's family and expressed their condolences, RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty report.
Mr. Ospanov was hospitalized on November 5 last year due to a brain hemorrhage.