Nazarbayev to rule Kazakhstan again for another 7 years
results announced on Monday by the Central Election Commission
showed that Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has won
with 91 percent of the vote in yesterday's election.
Tuyakbai, head of the main opposition group For a Just Kazakhstan,
was Nazarbayev's closet rival, winning 6.6 percent, the Astana-based
Central Electoral Committee said, citing preliminary results.
An exit poll forecast Nazarbayev would get 78 percent.
65, has dominated Kazakh political life since the last years of
the Soviet Union. Nazarbayev has been running the Central Asian
nation since 1989, campaigned to fight corruption, increase social
spending and boost incomes in the 57-percent Muslim country where
Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and other foreign oil producers
have invested billions of dollars.
candidates contended that there was vote fraud, but suggested
that they would not hold public protests or mass actions in this
enormous Central Asian state, underscoring the strength of Mr.
Nazarbayev, whom they have tried to portray as authoritarian and
unfailingly corrupt. The opposition said it would prepare legal
has been accused in federal court documents in New York of receiving
millions of dollars in bribes from an intermediary representing
American oil companies seeking rights to Kazakhstan's oil fields,
in a case against an American businessman under the corrupt practices
act. But he has also maintained popular support even as his critics
have struggled to circulate word of the accusations in a nation
in which the independent news media are severely restricted, according
to The New York Times.
of international election observers likely will play a key role
in how the opposition responds to the elections. A prominent mission
led by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
was due to issue its initial assessment later Monday, as was a
group of observers from the Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent
candidates said their campaigns had been hindered by the theft
of campaign materials, seizure of newspapers backing them and
denial of access to attractive sites to hold rallies, the Washingtonpost.com
was a republic of the now extinct Soviet Union and is now a member
of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Kazakhstan is the ninth-largest
country in the world by area, but its semi-deserts make it only
the 57th country in population.
has attracted billions of dollars of Western, Russian and Chinese
investment as production from its oil fields grows. The Government
of Kazakhstan plans to double its GDP by 2008 (compared to 2000)
and triple by 2015 (compared to 2003). The GDP growth was stable
in last five years, and was higher than 9% (the second fastest
growing economy in the world in real terms).
Oil and gas
is the leading economic sector. Production of oil and gas condensate
in Kazakhstan amounted to 51.2 million tons in 2003, which was
8.6% more than in 2002. Kazakhstan raised oil and gas condensate
exports to 44.3 million tons in 2003, 13% higher compared to 2002.
Gas production in Kazakhstan in 2003 amounted to 13.9 billion
cubic meters, up 22.7% compared to 2002, including natural gas
production of 7.3 billion cubic meters, Kazakhstan holds about
4 billion tons of proven recoverable oil reserves and 2,000 cubic
kilometers of gas.
has stable relationships with all of its neighbors and is a member
of the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe, and North Atlantic Cooperation Council. It also is
an active participant in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's
(NATO) Partnership for Peace program. Kazakhstan is also a member
of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization along with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
and Uzbekistan. Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan
established the Eurasian Economic Community in 2000 to re-energize
earlier efforts at harmonizing trade tariffs and the creation
of a free trade zone under a customs union.
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