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2005-11-08 21:01:00
US Office Almaty
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						UNCLAS  ALMATY 004010 



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: Almaty 3919

1. (U) This is the seventh in a series of weekly election
roundups in advance of Kazakhstan's December 4, 2005
presidential elections. Items were drawn primarily from
the local press and media.

President Nazarbayev's Campaign


2. (U) President Nazarbayev continued to participate in a
heavy schedule of large public events around the country,
involving groups such as students, teachers, academicians,
workers, and intelligentsia. On October 28, he addressed
the congress of entrepreneurs in Astana and promised to
support entrepreneurship, especially small businesses.
"It is necessary to continue work on protecting private
property. Entrepreneurs must feel confident that business
in Kazakhstan is safe and promising. In the next three
years the credits extended to small and medium size
businesses will amount to 95 billion tenge ($709 million),
which will make it possible to create 200,000 new jobs,"
the president promised.

3. (U) On October 31, President Nazarbayev addressed more
than 300 delegates from around the country at a special
congress of the Federation of Trade Unions. In his
speech, Nazarbayev outlined the economic and social
indicators the government plans to achieve by 2012: GDP
per capita will be increased to $8,000-9,000; individual
incomes will be doubled; average wages will be increased
up to 70,000 tenge ($522); social allowances and stipends
will be increased by 2-2.5 times; and pensions will be
increased by 1.5-2 times. The President also announced
that, beginning in 2007, victims of the Semipalatinsk
nuclear tests will receive lump sum compensation payments
totaling approximately 14 billion tenge ($104 million).
At the end of the congress, the delegates passed a
resolution expressing their full support for President

4. (U) Nazarbayev spent three days campaigning in South
Kazakhstan Oblast. On November 2, he met publicly with
representatives of the military and law enforcement in
Shymkent to discuss modernization plans. After the
meeting, Nazarbayev performed a modeling flight on a
ground attack aircraft training system. The same day the
president visited the Shymkent Tire Factory, the "Melange"
Cotton Fabric Factory, and the Shymkent Central Mosque for
Ramadan prayers. On November 3, Nazarbayev visited the
Saryagash border district, where he attended a fall
agricultural fair. On November 4 Nazarbayev wrapped up
his tour by visiting Kentau City.

5. (U) Nazarbayev's Public Reception Office in Almaty
(reftel) has reportedly received over 700 requests and
complaints, including regarding gas shortages; lack of

water supply; problems with electric power supply; and
public transportation. All requests and complaints are
forwarded to appropriate agencies. The head of
Nazarbayev's Almaty election headquarters told the press
that some needy residents had received financial aid from
the City Social Department as a result of their

The Opposition


6. (U) "For a Just Kazakhstan" candidate Zharmakhan
Tuyakbay held a series of campaign events in the northest
and southern parts of the country. While some events
proceeded peacefully, such as in Atbasar and Kostanay, in
many other cities there were disturbances. On October 29
in Pavlodar, when FJK activists tried to hold a meeting in
the "Kosmos" movie theater they found it occupied by a
large crowd of combative young men, many of them drunk,
who work at the local aluminum plant owned by Aleksandr
Mashkevich, Patoh Shodiev and Alidjon Ibragimov. The
police were present but reportedly declined to intervene.
On October 30 in Ekibastuz (Pavlodar Oblast), a group of
drunken young people tried to disrupt the meeting by
yelling, swearing, and trying to provoke fights. The
police present at the meeting reportedly refused to
intervene. FJK alleges that the incident was the result

of a meeting the day before between the city akim and the
management of city enterprises and organizations. On
October 31 in Yesil (Akmola Oblast), Tuyakbay and his team
encountered a group of school children at the entrance of
the City Culture Center shouting pro-Nazarbayev slogans
under the direction of their teachers. Inside the
building, another group of young people disrupted the
meeting by yelling and tearing down Tuyakbay's campaign
posters. Once again, the police reportedly did not
intervene. Similar disruptions reportedly occurred in
Peremyetnoye, Aktobe, Zhanatas, Lebyazhye, Pavlodar,
Georgievka, and Semipalatinsk.

7. (SBU) "Ak Zhol" candidate Alikhan Baymenov also
experienced some difficulties during his regional campaign
events. A November 1 event in Astana was disrupted when
the electoral commission issued a permit for a venue not
approved by the akim's office. Baymenov told the press
that he viewed the confusion as an intentional effort to
disrupt the event. He also complained that the list of
approved venues included only places on the outskirts of
the city. In a brief conversation on November 3, Baymenov
told POEC chief that he had experienced several similar
problems with venues, and also with distorted press
coverage. In one instance the local television station
planted people in the audience who pretended to sleep
through Baymenov's speech, filmed them briefly, then the
entire group left together.

The Other Candidates


8. (U) "Tagibat" (Green) movement candidate Mels
Yeleusizov is conducting a less energetic campaign than
the other candidates. Yeleusizov told the press on
October 31 that his staff was still preparing his posters
and campaign films, and that he did not intend to arrange
large public meetings or concerts. His only campaign
event to attract news coverage so far was a November 1
visit to the Almaty Center for Social Adaptation of
Vagrants, where residents asked him to help with a
property expropriation issue.

9. (U) Communist People's Party candidate Yerasyl
Abylkasymov started a visit to Atyrau oblast on November 3
by laying a wreath at the Lenin monument. He then met
with a small group of teachers at a city school, where he
said "I am also a teacher. I know your problems and only
I can solve your problems." Abylkasymov told the teachers
about his election program, which includes fighting
inflation and corruption, redistribution of oil revenues,
and the confiscation of enterprises, oil fields and
pipelines transferred to foreigners.

Three Candidates Pledge to Observe Fair Competition Rules



10. (U) On November 4, the campaign staffs of Nursultan
Nazarbayev, Yerasyl Abylkasymov, and Mels Yeleusizov
signed an agreement pledging to observe fair competition
rules developed by the CEC. The rules include pledges to
follow the Constitution and election legislation, not to
use dirty PR, not to bribe the electorate, and not to
resort to political radicalism. Zharmakhan Tuyakbay and
Alikhan Baymenov refused to sign the agreement. On
November 1, Tuyakbay issued a statement explaining that he
refused to sign because the rules included no real
measures to provide for a fair, free and transparent
election. The opposition's previous proposals to amend
current election legislation had been rejected. In his
address to the CEC on October 31, Baymenov pointed out
that a declaration that did not contain specific measures
could not provide for a fair and open election.

Daughter of FJK Activist Reported Missing


11. (U) The 14 year-old daughter of Almaty FJK activist
Yelena Nikitina disappeared on October 31, according to a
November 2 FJK announcement. FJK claims that law
enforcement officials visited Nikitina several times from

October 23 to October 29. They allegedly tried to recruit
Nikitina to provide information about FJK headquarters'
activities. On October 24, unspecified members of
"special services" reportedly asked Yelena about her
daughter. (Note: Post will follow this situation closely.
It is not clear whether foul play is actually involved.
End note.)

Incidents Related to Transport of Campaign Materials



12. (U) FJK has filed a complaint with law enforcement
agencies regarding the November 1 seizure by road police
in Zyryanovsk (Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast) of Tuyakbay
campaign materials and opposition newspapers (Epokha,
Svoboda Slova, Zhuma-Times and Pravda Kazakhstana). The
road police reportedly seized the materials without
producing a warrant or court ruling. On November 3, a
stolen car containing Baymenov campaign materials was
found close to Taraz City airport. The police returned
the materials to the driver, who said the car had been
stolen earlier that day. A bus carrying Tuyakbay campaign
materials that was reported missing in Aktobe Oblast on
October 27 has been found, along with its passengers. It
had broken down.

Print Run of Zhuma-Times Seized


13. (U) On November 3, 12,000 copies of the Zhuma Times
opposition weekly were seized in Almaty. The same day the
Dauir printing house, which prints the weekly, received an
order from the Medeu district prosecutor ordering the
seizure of the whole print run (100,000 copies). The
ruling said that the weekly issue carried an article
insulting the president's dignity and honor.

Senate Rejects Request to Punish Senator Battalova



14. (U) At a plenary session on November 3, the Senate
examined a motion filed by the Procurator General to
punish Senator Zauresh Battalova for conducting an
unsanctioned rally in Almaty on October 8. Senate
Chairman Abykayev had previously written to the CEC to
recommend that Battalova face administrative charges for
the Almaty event. The senate recognized Abykayev's
recommendation and the CEC's subsequent concurrence as
grounded, but declined the Procurator General's motion on
the grounds that it was the first charge against

CEC Activities


15. (U) On November 2, the CEC held a briefing on the
requirements of the election law regarding campaigning -
placement of advertisements in media, provision of
facilities for candidates to hold their meetings with
voters, etc. CEC Chairman Zhumabekov announced that he
would be available to meet with the heads of candidates'
campaign headquarters twice a week to answer their

16. (U) Due to substantial international interest in the
upcoming elections, the CEC has launched a new English-
language website at &year=2005.
The CEC has invited all candidates to post their election
programs on the site.

17. (U) For technical reasons, the CEC has slightly
reduced the number of polling stations that will use the e-
voting system, CEC Deputy Chairman Kuandyk Turgankulov
announced on November 4 in Astana. According to
Turgankulov, 18 polling stations out of 1475 have been
excluded due to problems with the electric supply.

Ministry of Information Media Monitoring


18. (U) On October 31, the Ministry of Information,
Culture and Sports announced the results of its short-term
monitoring of coverage of the election campaign by state
media. The Ministry monitored Khabar, Kazakhstan TV
companies, Kazakh radio, Yegemen Kazakhstan and
Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspapers. It excluded analytical
materials and coverage of the incumbent President's
regular work that did not include campaigning. The
Ministry of Information reported that in general, all
state-owned media outlets provided equal coverage of all
candidates' campaigns, but the Kazinform agency with two-
thirds of its information devoted to President Nazarbayev
does not. The Ministry sent a letter to Kazinform with a
request to level out its coverage of the candidates'

OSCE Issues First Interim Report


19. (U) On November 2, the ODIHR/OSCE election observation
mission issued its first interim report on the results of
its observation of the election campaign. It noted a
number of shortcomings, such as detention and prosecution
of people for organizing and participating in illegal
meetings, incidents of illegal restrictions of the freedom
of speech, confiscation or forced delays in publication of
newspapers, and detention of journalists. The report also
criticized recent amendments to the election law as
falling short of OSCE standards.

International observers


20. (U) As of November 1, the CEC had accredited 187
foreign observers: 44 from OSCE/ODIHR, 38 from the CIS,
31 from other international organizations, and 74 from
foreign countries.