Monthly Archives: August 2007

07ASTANA2327, KAZAKHSTAN: NUR OTAN CHOOSES NEW MAZHILIS MEMBERS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2327 2007-08-27 10:01 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1141
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2327/01 2391001
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271001Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0482
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1821
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0251
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ASTANA 002327 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV OSCE KZ
 
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: NUR OTAN CHOOSES NEW MAZHILIS MEMBERS 
 
REF: Astana 2318 
 
ASTANA 00002327  001.4 OF 004 
 
 
1. Summary: On August 24, Nur Otan selected 98 candidates from its 
party list to fill the Mazhilis seats it won in the August 18 
elections. Deputy Prime Minister Aslan Musin and Minister of Labor 
and Social Protection Gulzhana Karagusova will vacate their posts to 
become deputies.  On August 27, the Central Election Commission 
unanimously registered Nur Otan's choices, in addition to the nine 
candidates recently chosen by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan. 
End summary. 
 
---------------------------------- 
NUR OTAN SELECTS MAZHILIS DEPUTIES 
---------------------------------- 
 
2. On August 23, the Central Election Commission released official 
election results confirming that Nur Otan  won all 98 seats 
available in the August 18 Mazhilis election. (Reftel) On August 24, 
the party held a meeting of its political council to select 98 
deputies from the 125 candidates on its official party list. Party 
leader President Nazarbayev chaired the meeting. According to 
Nazarbayev, the new members of the Mazhilis were selected to 
represent a cross-section of lawyers, economists, engineers and 
businessmen. The list includes 38 former members of the Mazhilis and 
several former local and national government officials. To address 
the issue of gender equality, the party doubled the number of female 
members of the Mazhilis, for a total of 15. 
 
3. Only 2 members of the present cabinet (Musin and Karagusova) were 
chosen from the list, and they must vacate their cabinet positions 
to become deputies. Minister of Culture and Information Yermukhamet 
Yertysbayev, Minister of Justice Zagira Baliyeva, former state 
secretary Oralbai Abdykarimov, and several oblast akims who appeared 
 
SIPDIS 
on the party list were not chosen. 
 
---------------------------------- 
THE NEW MAZHILIS: LIST OF DEPUTIES 
---------------------------------- 
 
4. On August 27, the Central Election Commission registered the 98 
candidates from the Nur Otan list as well as the nine candidates 
chosen by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan. The new Mazhilis 
will be composed of the following candidates selected from the Nur 
Otan list: 
 
Abenov, Murat, chief of staff, Kzyl-Orda regional governor's office 
 
Aimbetov, Seisultan, state inspector, Presidential Administration 
 
Aisina, Maira, deputy chief of staff, Nur Otan party 
 
Alimzhanov, Beken, member of Mazhilis 
 
Alzakov, Yerzat, Interllectual Property Committee, Ministry of 
Justice 
 
Apsaliamov, Yerbolat, Chairman. Board of Directors, Semei Cement 
company 
 
Asanov, Turarbek, member of Mazhilis 
 
Asanov, Zhakip, President, Ordabasy corporation 
 
Baimagambetov, Bagila, member of Mazhilis 
 
Baimaganbetov, Serik, head, section of law enforcement and judicial 
system, Presidential Administration 
 
Beisenbayev, Ascar, member of Mazhilis 
 
Bekenov, Ascar, akim, Zhyly-oiski district, Atyrau region 
 
Bektureyev, Ustemir, secretary, Makta-Aral district Maslikhat, 
Southern Kazakhstan 
 
Bekzhanov, Berik, administrator of courts, Southern Kazakhstan 
region 
 
Berdongarov, Tanirbergen, member of Mazhilis 
 
Bisenov, Kylyshbai, rector, Kzyl-Orda State University 
 
Bizhanov, Kerimzhan, president Mal Onimderi corporation 
 
Bobrov, Vladimir, member of Mazhilis 
 
Burkhanov, Kamal, Director, Institute of History and Ethnology, 
Ministry of Education 
 
 
ASTANA 00002327  002.4 OF 004 
 
 
Bychkova, Svetlana, member, Constitutional Council 
 
Chrikalin, Ivan, member of Mazhilis 
 
Diachenko, Sergei, member of Mazhilis 
 
Dmitrienko, Peter, Director, Northern Kazakhstan regional Department 
of Natural Resources 
 
Doskaliyev, Zhaksylyk, Rector, Kazakh State Medical Academy 
 
Doskalov, Valery, member of Mazhilis 
 
Duisebayev, Zheksenbai, governor, Tselinograd district, 
 
Akmolinskaya region 
 
Ferkho, Svetlana, deputy mayor, Ust-Kamenogorsk city 
 
Gellert, Natalya, head, section of control, Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs 
 
Iakovleva, Tatiana, Director, department of economy and budgetary 
planning, Astana city 
 
Ibragimov, Satybaldy, member of Mazhilis 
 
Isakulov, Yerzhan, former Chief, Atyrau Department, KNB 
 
Isimbayeva, Gulmira, Director, Department of Education, Almaty 
 
Itegulov, Maral, member of Mazhilis 
 
Jakupov, Kabibulla, deputy chief, Prime Minister's chancery 
 
Jazzin, Amanzhol, secretary, Akmolinski regional Maslikaht 
 
Kadambayev, Toktarbay, head, office of financial control, 
Kostanai region 
 
Kalizhanov, Ualikahn, member of Mazhilis 
 
Karagusova, Gulzhana, Minister of Labor and Social Protection 
 
Kiyansky, Victor, deputy Director, Western Kazakhstan office of the 
National Center of Expert Analyses and Certification 
 
Klebanova, Daria, member of Mazhilis 
 
Konakbayev, Serik,
 member of Mazhilis 
 
Konarbai, Bolat, Chairman, Atyrau regional office, Nur Otan 
 
Konurbayev, Valikhan, Director, Consular Department, MFA 
 
Kosmambetov, Tulebek, member of Mazhilis 
 
Kotovich, Valery, member of Mazhilis 
 
Kusainov, Daulbai, governor, Nurinski district, Karaganda region 
 
Madinov, Romin, member of Mazhilis 
 
Medeuov, Usengeldy, state inspector, Presidential 
Administration 
 
Milutin, Alexander, member of Mazhilis 
 
Momyshev, Amangeldy, deputy Chairman, Zhambyl regional office, Nur 
Otan 
 
Mukashev, Rakhmet, Chairman, Presidential representatives in the 
Parliament 
 
Mukashev, Serikzhan, advisor to first deputy Chairman, Nur Otan 
 
Mukhamedzhanov, Ural, speaker of Mazhilis 
 
Musin, Aslan, deputy Prime Minister 
 
Myrzakhmetov, Shalatai, secretary, Southern Kazakhstan regional 
Maslikhat 
 
Nekhoroshev, Vladimir, member of Mazhilis 
 
Nigmatullin, Yerlan, member of Mazhilis 
 
Nuketayeva, Dinar, member of Mazhilis 
 
 
ASTANA 00002327  003.4 OF 004 
 
 
Omarov, Yermukhamet, member of Mazhilis 
 
Orazalinov, Ilubai, mayor, Aksu city, Pavlodar region 
 
Ospanov, Serik, member of Mazhilis 
 
Pshembayev, Meiram, Chairman, Board of Directors, 
Kazakhselmash corporation 
 
Rakhmetov, Yerzhan, member of Mazhilis 
 
Ramazanov, Yerkin, member of Mazhilis 
 
Rogalev, Victor, staff member, Mazhilis 
 
Rustemov, Nurbah, member of Mazhilis 
 
Sabilianov, Nurtai, member of Mazhilis 
 
Sagadiyev, Kenshegali, member of Mazhilis 
 
Samakova, Aitkul, advisor to the President, Chairperson, National 
Commission of Issues of Family and Gender 
 
Sarpekov, Ramazan, former chief of staff, Prosecutor Generals' 
office 
 
Sarsenov, Nurdaulet, member of Mazhilis 
 
Seitmagambetova, Gulnar, deputy governor, Mangistau region 
 
Shahekin, Rauan, member of Mazhilis 
 
Smail, Aldan, Director, Astana office, Union of Writers 
 
Smailov, Bauyrzhan, Director General, Kalkaman corporation 
 
Soloviova, Aigul, President, Civic Alliance 
 
Suleimenov Zharasbai, Director, Soltustik Kazakhstan newspaper 
 
Syzdykov, Tito, member of Mazhilis 
 
Syzdykova, Bakhyt, Chairperson, Committee on Child Rights, Ministry 
of Education 
 
Taizhanov, Yerkanat, Director General, Azbuka Zhilia company 
 
Tarasenko, Yelena, member of Mazhilis 
 
Temribulatov, Serik, Central Regional Transport prosecutor 
 
Tinikeyev, Mukhtar, member of Mazhilis 
 
Tleuberdin Altai, member, Board of Directors, CPC 
 
Tleukhan, Bekbolat, member of Mazhilis 
 
Tokpakbayev, Sat, Chairman, Board of Directors, Eurasia Air 
International 
 
Turetsky, Nikolai, Director, Kazakhstan Association of Criminology 
 
Tursunov, Azamat, governor, Karasu district, Kostanai region 
 
Tursunov, Saginbek, Chairman, Human Rights Commission 
 
Uali, Kurmangali, governor, Kordai district, Zhambyl region 
 
Utegenov, Amangos, member of Mazhilis 
 
Utemisov, Shavkat, deputy governor, Western Kazakhstan region 
 
Yeleubayev, Uzakkali, member of Mazhilis 
 
Yesilov, Sansyzbai, deputy mayor, Astana city 
 
Yeszhanov, Sauyrbai, member of Mazhilis 
 
Zhamalov, Amanzhan, member of Mazhilis 
 
Zharaspayev, Aliyar, advisor to Chairman, Kazakh-mys corporation 
 
Zhumagulov, Bakhytzhan, first deputy Chairman, Nur Otan. 
 
4. The following candidates were chosen by the Assembly of People of 
Kazakhstan: 
 
Akhmadiyev, Murat, Director, Uigur Theater, Almaty 
 
ASTANA 00002327  004.4 OF 004 
 
 
 
Hachiyeva, Ludmila, President, Social Consortium of Assembly of 
People of Kazakhstan 
 
Halmuradov, Rosakul, President, Southern Kazakhstan Association of 
Uzbek organizations 
 
Kapel, Yegor, governor, Yereimentau district, Akmolinskaya region 
 
Pitalenko, Leonid, Chairman, Belorussian Cultural Center 
 
Polischuk, Raisa, deputy Chair, Lad Center, Northern Kazakhstan 
 
Sadvakasov, Kairat, deputy chief, Secretariat, Assembly of People of 
Kazakhstan 
 
Tsoi, Victor, Head, Ak Auyl corporation 
 
SIPDIS 
 
Vishnichenko, Valery, Chairman, Small Assembly of Peoples, 
Kostanai. 
 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2323, KAZAKHSTAN COMPLETES PROPERTY LEGALIZATION CAMPAIGN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2323 2007-08-27 08:54 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0731
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHTA #2323 2390854
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 270854Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0478
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUCNCLS/SCA COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASH DC

UNCLAS ASTANA 002323 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL/AAE (BUHLER), INL/C (SILENSKY), SCA/CEN (O'MARA) 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR EFIN SOCI KCOR KCRM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN COMPLETES PROPERTY LEGALIZATION CAMPAIGN 
 
Ref: A) 05 ALMATY 4353 B) 06 ASTANA 689 C) 06 ALMATY 1437 D) ASTANA 
 
1104 
 
1. Summary: The property legalization process, essentially an 
amnesty campaign, concluded on August 1 and earned approximately 
59.64 billion tenge ($488.8 million) for the Government of 
Kazakhstan.  This campaign was aimed to finally register the 
rightful owners of property that changed hands during the murky 
privatization deals of the 1990s.  The next step will be to develop 
new methods of financial monitoring.  According to the Procurator 
General's Office, these new methods are included in the anti-money 
laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing law which is 
currently stalled in the Mazhilis (lower house of parliament).  The 
adoption of the legislation was delayed three times because of the 
ongoing legalization, but the parliament is now free to move forward 
and the legislation could be enacted by the end of the year.  End 
summary. 
 
2.  The GOK announced on August 2 that it had concluded the property 
legalization process.  According to an official press release, the 
total amount of property legalized was worth 844 billion tenge 
(about $6.9 billion).  Of the legalized assets, cash accounted for 
63.7% or 538.4 billion tenge ($4.3 billion).  About 99% of cash was 
legalized by individuals. 
 
3.  According to the Head of the Tax Committee of the Ministry of 
Finance, 29.5 billion tenge worth of securities (about $236 
million), 11.2 billion tenge worth of agricultural equipment ($89.6 
million), 7.2 billion tenge worth of foreign real estate ($57.6 
million), and 5.1 billion tenge worth of vehicles ($40.8 million) 
were legalized. In addition, nearly 1.5 million pieces of real 
estate valued at 236.2 billion tenge (about $1.9 billion) were 
legalized, including more than 1 million residential and nearly half 
a million  non-residential buildings.  In total the treasury has 
received 59.64 billion tenge ($488.8 million) in fees during the 
process. 
 
4.  The legalization process (and the delay of AML legislation) 
began with the enactment of the Property Legalization Law in July 
2006.  Assets obtained since national independence are often assumed 
to have been acquired illegally during privatization.  The law was 
introduced to legitimize a wide range of property and assets, 
including real property, capital assets, movable property, and 
securities.  The law permitted owners to register assets and pay a 
fee of 10% of the value of the property, as determined by the owner. 
Registration was approved by the Regional Property Legalization 
Commission, which was established under the local executive 
authorities of each region.  Producers of agricultural equipment, 
owners of rural property, owners of residential real estate who paid 
property tax before January 1, 2006, and tax-exempt owners of real 
estate were exempt from the 10% fee.  The amendments also provided 
an amnesty for public officers who legalize their assets within the 
property amnesty campaign. 
 
5.  Extension of the property legalization process delayed the 
enactment of AML legislation, because, once passed, the AML law will 
make attempts to register previously unrecorded assets as prima 
facie evidence that some type of financial malfeasance took place. 
 
 
6.  The AML draft legislation was originally introduced to the 
Mazhilis (lower house) in September 2005 but was immediately 
stalled.  With conclusion of legalization campaign on August 1, 
Senior Official of the General Procurator's Office Andrey Kravchenko 
announced that the basic AML law would be adopted by the end of the 
year.  This law will introduce new methods of financial monitoring 
that comply with international standards.  The new law will also 
establish regulations to strengthen AML activities and create the 
Kazakhstani Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). 
 
7. The draft contains requirements for financial monitoring agencies 
to submit information to the FIU. The draft lists the types of 
transactions that must be reported to the FIU.  For example, 
securities and real estate transactions of more than $100,000 and 
casino winnings of more than $3,000.  Suspicious transactions less 
than the minimum may also need to be reported to the FIU. 
 
 
8. Comment:  GOK efforts to enact AML legislation by the end of the 
year is a welcome step forward.  The law is expected to introduce 
recognized methods, which will allow the GOK to better monitor 
suspicious transactions and large cash flows.  End comment. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2318, KAZAKHSTAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS:

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2318 2007-08-27 01:46 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0383
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2318/01 2390146
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 270146Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0472
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1817
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0247
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ASTANA 002318 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV OSCE KZ
 
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS: 
MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL 
 
REF: A) Astana 1558,     B) Astana 1906, 
     C) Astana 1949,     D) Astana 2221, 
     E) Astana 2222,     F) Astana 2223, 
     G) Astana 2244 
 
ASTANA 00002318  001.2 OF 004 
 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: Political parties competing in the August 18 
Mazhilis elections had more freedom to campaign than ever before, 
the Central Election Commission operated professionally and 
transparently, and the voting process on election day was relatively 
smooth and fair.  However, this progress was marred by a new legal 
framework that fails to meet a number of OSCE commitments and 
Council of Europe standards and significant problems with the 
conduct and transparency of the vote counting process after the 
polls closed.  The outcome of the elections will also impact the 
debate about Kazakhstan's progress on the path to a more democratic 
system: the overwhelming victory for President Nazarbayev's Nur Otan 
party sets up a parliament consisting solely of Nur Otan members, 
undermining Kazakhstan's claim that its recent constitutional 
reforms will create a more open and democratic political system.  In 
the end, the Government of Kazakhstan missed the opportunity offered 
by the elections to show conclusive proof of its progress toward a 
more open and democratic system.  End summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
NUR OTAN WINS 88% OF THE VOTE, TAKES EVERY MAZHILIS SEAT 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
2. (SBU) According to the preliminary election results released by 
the Central Election Commission (CEC) on August 19, President 
Nazarbayev's Nur Otan party received 88% of the votes (5.174 million 
votes).  No other party reached the 7% threshold necessary to win 
seats in the Mazhilis.  The National Social Democratic Party 
finished second with 4.6% of the vote; Ak Zhol received 3.27%, Aul 
1.58%, Communist People's Party 1.31%, Patriot's Party .75%, and 
Rukhaniyat .41%.  The CEC announced that 64.56% of the electorate 
voted, and turnout ranged from a high of 90.12% in Almaty oblast to 
a low of 22.51% in Almaty city.  According to election observers, 
turnout was much higher in rural areas than in urban centers.  Two 
Kazakhstani organizations, Ksilon Astana and the Kazakhstan 
Association of Sociologists and Political Scientists, released exit 
polls showing Nur Otan winning approximately 80% of the vote and 
NSDP and Ak Zhol both hovering at or slightly below 7% of the vote. 
However, Post does not have sufficient information about the 
methodology of either poll to judge their accuracy. 
 
3. (SBU) Citing exit polls showing a huge victory for Nur Otan, 
President Nazarbayev joined 3000 of his supporters at an outdoor 
victory celebration in Astana on election night, complete with 
fireworks and silver ticker tape.  "When we get the final results 
tomorrow, the country will start a new political system," Nazarbayev 
said. Speaking on August 20, after the release of the preliminary 
results, Nazarbayev celebrated the high voter turnout and said that 
the results show the country is pursuing the right policies. "Honest 
and fair elections took place in which all political parties in the 
country participated. Unfortunately other parties couldn't pass the 
7% barrier, but we shouldn't make a tragedy of that." (Note: 
Nazarbayev spoke before a session of the Assembly of the People of 
Kazakhstan, during which the Assembly exercised its new 
constitutional power to select nine members of the Mazhilis. (Ref C) 
The process was uncontested and largely ceremonial.  End note.) 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
OPPOSITION ALLEGES FRAUD, REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE RESULTS 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
4. (SBU) Opposition leaders condemned the process and refused to 
recognize the results.  The NSDP called the results "a direct 
consequence of totalitarian processes" and "a rollback to the Soviet 
past," charging that the government thwarted the will and 
expectations of millions of citizens and "massively falsified" the 
results.  Among other things, the NSDP said that the 64.56% turnout 
was inflated through the unlawful use of administrative resources, 
orchestrated multiple votes, ballot box stuffing, manipulation of 
voter lists, and the complicity of precinct election commissions 
which had few opposition representatives.  The NSDP also alleged 
that precinct election commissions openly hindered the work of 
election observers and party representatives at the polling places 
in vote counting stations.  The NSDP is compiling its evidence of 
these violations, and plans to file numerous court claims in an 
attempt to void the election results.  According to press reports, 
party leader Zharmakhan Tuyakbay plans to stage a protest on August 
30 or 31, though he stressed the party intends to defend its 
position "within the Constitution." 
 
5. (SBU) Ak Zhol also released a statement decrying the election 
results and demanding a recount and investigation. Ak Zhol refused 
to recognize the preliminary results released b
y the CEC, citing 
 
ASTANA 00002318  002.2 OF 004 
 
 
"mass rigging and falsifications of the voting results at all 
levels."  The party called the election "a step backwards in the 
political development of Kazakhstan," and reserved the right to 
carry out "any forms of civil protest allowed by the law of 
Kazakhstan."  In multiple conversations with Embassy officers prior 
to the election, both NSDP and Ak Zhol representatives said they 
expected to receive between 20 and 30% of the vote.  (Comment: These 
estimates seemed overly optimistic.  End Comment) 
 
-------------------------------------- 
ELECTION FALLS SHORT OF OSCE STANDARDS 
-------------------------------------- 
 
6. (U) The OSCE/ODIHR International Election Observation Mission 
released its Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions on 
August 19, the day after the election.  ODIHR said that the 
elections "reflect welcome progress in the pre-election process and 
during the conduct of the vote," but that a "number of OSCE 
commitments and Council of Europe standards were not met, in 
particular with regard to elements of the new legal framework and to 
the vote count." 
 
7. (SBU) The ODIHR report commended Kazakhstan for several 
noticeable improvements over previous elections, and said that the 
authorities demonstrated a willingness to conduct a more democratic 
election process.  In particular, the report concluded that parties 
had greater access to media and greater freedom to campaign than in 
previous elections, and the CEC conducted its work transparently, 
promised to post all results protocols on its website, and was 
committed to voter education, improving the quality of voter lists, 
and developing better mechanisms to hear election related 
complaints. On election day, the ODIHR report stated that voting was 
conducted in a generally calm environment, and that observers 
assessed the voting process positively in 95% of polling stations 
visited.  (Note: This finding concurs with the observations of 
Embassy monitors, who reported that most election precincts were 
professionally run and free of major violations.  End note.) 
 
8. (U) In ODIHR's view, however, these improvements were not 
sufficient to bring Kazakhstan into compliance with OSCE and Council 
of Europe standards.  ODIHR's criticism of the election focused 
heavily on a number of new legal provisions and the vote counting 
process after the polls closed.  ODIHR concluded that a "combination 
of restrictive legal provisions creates obstacles to the development 
of a pluralistic political party system" and "significantly 
decreases accountability of elected representatives to voters...." 
In particular, ODIHR cited: 
 
      --the excessive requirements for registration of political 
parties; 
 
      --undue limitations on the right to seek public office, 
including a 10-year residency requirement, a requirement for party 
membership for candidates, and a lack of provision for independent 
candidates; 
 
      --a high 7% threshold for representation in the Mazhilis 
(Comment: Even if the threshold had been set at 5%, as some have 
proposed, no other party would have performed well enough to win 
seats in the Mazhilis.  End comment.); 
 
      --provisions that political parties choose after the elections 
which candidates from their lists will become members of the 
Mazhilis; 
 
      --provisions which require the expulsion of a Mazhilis deputy 
when the deputy leaves the party, is expelled from the party, or the 
party is dissolved; 
 
      -- the fact that 9 of the 107 Mazhilis seats are not contested 
by popular vote but are chosen by the unelected Assembly of People 
of Kazakhstan.  This arrangement contradicts Paragraph 7.2 of the 
1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document, which requires participating states 
to "permit all seats in at least one chamber of the national 
legislature to be freely contested in a popular vote." 
 
9. (U) The vote counting process was assessed negatively in 43% of 
the stations visited by the ODIHR observers.  The negative 
assessments were based on numerous procedural violations, 
obstruction of observers, falsification of signatures on the voter 
lists or protocols, failure to follow proper counting procedures, 
counting for Nur Otan votes cast for a different party, and the 
presence of unauthorized persons, including police, during the 
counting process. The assessment was worse than in the 2004 Mazhilis 
elections and the 2005 presidential election; in both cases, 28% of 
ODIHR observers assessed the vote counting process negatively. 
 
 
ASTANA 00002318  003.2 OF 004 
 
 
10. (SBU) Although there were a few examples of deliberate fraud, 
ODIHR did not conclude that there was an intentional effort by 
authorities to manipulate the results during the vote counting. 
Rather, there were significant enough procedural problems and 
obstructions such that it could not rule out the possibility of 
fraud or express confidence in the accuracy of the final tally. 
ODIHR's findings coincide with the observations of the Embassy 
monitoring teams, which unanimously reported that election 
commissions were confused and disorganized during the vote counting 
process, disregarding procedures and safeguards designed to preserve 
transparency and prevent fraud.  In only one case, though, did there 
appear to be a deliberate effort to manipulate the final vote count. 
(Note: ODIHR and other observers will conduct further analysis of 
the vote count by comparing the signed protocols collected by 
observers at the precinct level with the official results that will 
ultimately be released by the CEC.) 
 
11. (U) Finally, ODIHR described a number of other violations and 
problems, including that authorities treated Nur Otan favorably 
during the campaign and blurred the separation between local 
authorities, lower-level election commissions, and the party; the 
state media provided overwhelmingly favorable coverage of Nur Otan; 
the state Russian-language national newspaper censored NSDP's 
material submitted under a CEC program to provide free column space 
for all parties; and national television stations refused to air 
certain NSDP advertisements.  (Note: The full ODIHR report is 
available at http://www.osce.org/odihr-elections/ 
item_12_25488.html.  End note.) 
 
---------------------------- 
REPORTS FROM OTHER OBSERVERS 
---------------------------- 
 
12. (SBU) The Republican Network of Independent Monitors, a domestic 
NGO that conducted short-term monitoring in 1917 polling stations in 
nine oblasts and two cities (Astana and Almaty), released its report 
on August 20.  The report was more negative than the ODIHR report, 
concluding that election commissions did not recognize observer 
rights in many cases, measures were implemented to create an 
artificially high turnout, many voters were unable to vote due to 
inaccurate voter lists, and vote counting and tabulation processes &
#x000A;were filled with procedural violations and a lack of transparency. 
The report also criticized election commissions for refusing to 
provide protocols (signed, final results) to observers at many 
precincts.  (Note: The US government provided some of the funding 
for the Network's election observation activities.  End note.) 
 
13. (SBU) Predictably, the Commonwealth of Independent states 
monitoring team, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization monitoring 
team, and the Public Committee to Monitor Elections, a domestic, 
pro-government NGO, all concluded that the elections were free and 
transparent, without any major violations. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
OPPOSITION SHUTOUT: HOW DID IT HAPPEN? 
-------------------------------------- 
 
14. (SBU) Nobody doubted that Nur Otan would be overwhelmingly 
victorious on August 18, though many observers, and the opposition 
leaders themselves, genuinely expected that NSDP or Ak Zhol or both 
would cross the 7% threshold.  Three factors explain their failure 
to do so: the confidence of Kazakhstanis in President Nazarbayev and 
the direction of the country, the institutional advantages - legal 
and illegal - of Nur Otan, and the failure of NSDP and Ak Zhol to 
mount effective campaigns. 
 
15. (SBU) President Nazarbayev remains extremely popular, and 
Kazakhstanis are optimistic about the direction of the country. 
According to an August 16 INR Opinion Analysis of a US 
government-commissioned poll in Kazakhstan (conducted July 9-30), 
93% of Kazakhstanis are extremely confident about President 
Nazarbayev, an approval level unchanged from 2005, when he was 
reelected with 91% of the vote.  In addition, 91% of respondents 
agreed that the country is heading in the right direction, and 83% 
felt that the economic situation is good.  Poll respondents also 
expressed confidence in the government (72%), the parliament (69%), 
and local government (65%), and 78% of respondents felt that it is 
more important for Kazakhstan to have a strong president than to 
have the executive branch share power with the legislature and 
judiciary. Thus, even assuming a level playing field and an honest 
election, the opposition parties faced an uphill battle in trying to 
convince the electorate of the need for change. 
 
16. (SBU) The opposition's uphill climb was further hindered by an 
uneven playing field. Nur Otan is much larger, better organized, and 
wealthier than all of the other parties, and enjoys significant 
institutional advantages.  Though opposition parties had greater 
 
ASTANA 00002318  004.2 OF 004 
 
 
freedom to campaign than in previous years, they still faced some 
interference from local authorities, media bias, and difficulty 
accessing advertising space. (Refs B, D, E, F, G) Moreover, the 
honesty of the vote count is uncertain, as discussed above. 
 
17. (SBU) Finally, despite greater freedom to campaign, reduced 
government interference, and improved media coverage, opposition 
parties failed to mount vigorous and effective campaigns or develop 
a focused message that connected with voters.  (Ref D, G) By their 
own admission, the NSDP received only 22% of the vote in their 
stronghold of Almaty (and just over 22% of Almaty residents turned 
out to vote, compared to the national average of 64.56%).  In an 
early effort to deflect criticism of the lopsided result, on August 
21 the Government of Kazakhstan distributed a statement to the OSCE 
Permanent Council in Vienna defending the conduct of the elections 
and blaming the opposition for their failed campaigns.  Among other 
things, the statement criticized the opposition for being 
splintered, failing to develop a real and focused political program 
or organizational structure, lacking charismatic leaders, and 
spending too much time criticizing the status quo instead of setting 
forth their own strategic plans for the country. 
 
18. (SBU) Barring a conclusive finding by ODIHR that the vote counts 
announced at the precinct level do not match the aggregated results 
scheduled for release in Astana, nobody knows whether the 
shortcomings in the election process were sufficient to keep NSDP 
and Ak Zhol from crossing the 7% threshold. 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
THE BIG PICTURE: A MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
19. (SBU) Comment: The missed opportunity for NSDP and Ak Zhol is 
obvious: they failed to capitalize on their greater freedom to 
campaign and communicate with voters. Neither party was able to 
establish a clear message (one NSDP Mazhilis candidate admitted to 
Poloff that the NSDP's message "was not very different" from Nur 
Otan's.)  The unwillingness of Ak Zhol and NSDP to collaborate also 
damaged their chances, as they ultimately undercut each other. 
Their failure to win seats in the Mazhilis denies them the 
opportunity to develop a constructive opposition presence in Astana 
and leaves them with little to build on for future campaigns.  While 
 a better, more focused campaign may not been sufficient to overcome 
the institutional and historical advantages of Nur Otan or the 
problems in the election process, the opposition parties missed a 
chance to strengthen their base and to make an impact on the 
electorate.  In essence, the parties will remain in the wilderness 
at least until the next election, which is not scheduled until 
2012. 
 
20. (SBU) Comment, continued: Nur Otan is left with the very result 
- a one-party parliament - that officials in the Presidential 
Administration told the Ambassador would be undesirable and 
embarrassing for the government. (Ref F) Increased efforts by 
central authorities to ensure a fairer election have been 
overshadowed by Nur Otan's overwhelming victory and a mixed 
OSCE/ODIHR report. Kazakhstan will move forward with a one-party 
Mazhilis, undermining its claim to have opened up its political 
system through recent constitutional reforms. (Ref A) The new 
Mazhilis is unlikely to take initiative and there will be less room 
for independent thinking by deputies: under the new constitution, 
deputies lose their seat if they resign from or are expelled from 
the party. Furthermore, the result denies both Nur Otan and the 
opposition the opportunity to sharpen their democratic skills. End 
Comment. 
 
 
 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2315, KAZAKHSTAN ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, JULY 29 – AUGUST

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2315 2007-08-26 09:27 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0201
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2315/01 2380927
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 260927Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0467
INFO RUCPCIM/CIMS NTDB WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0244
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 2090
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0346
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0471
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 002315 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN (O'MARA) 
DEPT PASS TO OPIC - BALLINGER 
DEPT PASS TO TDA FOR STEIN, EXIM FOR GLAZER 
DEPT PASS TO AID - EE-PHILLIPS/RUSHING 
TREASURY FOR OASIA/VELTRI 
USDOC FOR 4231/ITA/MAC/MLONDON, 4201/BISNIS 
USDOC FOR 6110/ITA/TD/BI/RHALPERN 
ANKARA FOR CFC 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON EIND ENRG EPET EFIN KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN ECONOMIC AND ENERGY UPDATE, JULY 29 - AUGUST 
24, 2007 
 
ASTANA 00002315  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  Summary: This information is drawn primarily from the 
Kazakhstani local press, and has not been checked for accuracy.  The 
opinions and policies expressed in this report are those of the 
authors, not the U.S. Government. 
 
-- Inflation in July and Tenge Depreciation 
-- Legalization Campaign is Over 
-- Economic Statistics 
-- Eni Officially Announces Kashagan Delay 
-- KazMunayGas to Explore "Nursultan" Field Independently 
-- KazMunayGas Appoints Two Additional Vice-Presidents 
-- ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Offices Move to Astana and Atyrau 
-- Oil & Gas Statistics in January-June 2007 
Inflation in July and Tenge Depreciation 
---------------------------------------- 
 
2.  According to the Statistics Agency, July inflation was 0.9%, 
one-tenth higher than a month ago.  July-on-July inflation was 8.8%. 
 In contrast to June, prices for non-food products showed the most 
significant growth of 1.4%; prices of food products grew by 0.8%, 
and prices for services by 0.6%.  Panorama newspaper commented that 
the 12.7% growth in prices for construction materials and the 6% 
increase in prices for fuel played a key role in July inflation. 
 
3.  The tenge broke its appreciation streak against the dollar in 
July.  Since July 24, when the tenge closed against the dollar at 
122.0 KZT / $1, the currency has steadily weakened to 125.1 KZT / $1 
on August 23.  According to Delovaya Nedelia newspaper, the tenge's 
depreciation could be explained mainly by the increased outflow of 
currency from the country due to: the increased cost of external 
debt servicing, the increase in repatriated corporate profits, and 
the growth in imports of goods and services.  (Delovaya Nedelia 
newspaper, August 3) 
 
4.  In order to minimize the impact of rising inflation in recent 
months, the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) plans to raise its 
rates.  According to Anvar Saidenov, Chairman of the National Bank, 
the refinancing rate might be raised in October  to 9.5% (Note: The 
NBK's current refinancing rate is 9%.  End Note.); rates on the 
National Bank's notes would be increased by 0.5 to 1%.  In addition, 
the NBK intends to increase minimal reserve requirements for 
second-tier banks starting August 29.  This last measure will help 
to withdraw 72 billion tenge (approx. $580.6 million) from 
circulation, said Saidenov.  (Interfax - Kazakhstan, August 7, and 
Izvestiya newspaper, August 9) 
 
Legalization Campaign is Over 
----------------------------- 
 
5.  Russian newspaper "Kommersant" called amnesty of property and 
capital in Kazakhstan the most successful such campaign in the 
world.  In the span of the (approximately year-long) program, the 
Kazakhstani government legalized property and capital totaling about 
6.7 billion USD, roughly equivalent to 1/3 of the government's 
budgetary expenditures, or 8.7% of the GDP.  (Kommersant newspaper, 
August 6) 
 
Economic Statistics 
------------------- 
 
6.  From January to June of 2007 Kazakhstan's gross domestic product 
(GDP) grew by 10.2% in real terms on an annualized basis, Vice 
Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Saparbayev reported to the 
Government on August 7. 
 
7.  In addition, Saparbayev said that the first half of the year was 
marked by a significant growth of imports over exports: imports rose 
by 48.8%, while exports rose by only 25.8%.  Total foreign trade 
amounted to $36.6 billion: imports were $14.8 billion and exports 
$21.8 billion.  Aggregate trade  grew by 34.2% during January-June 
2007, compared to the same period in 2006.  (Interfax - Kazakhstan, 
August 7) 
 
8.  According to the National Bank, as of July 31, 2007, 
Kazakhstan's international reserves were $41.5 billion (at current 
 
ASTANA 00002315  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
exchange rates), including $18.1 billion accumulated in the National 
(Oil) Fund.  (Press-Service of the National Bank, August 2) 
 
Eni Officially Announces Kashagan Delay 
--------------------------------------- 
 
9.  Eni, the operator of the North Caspian project, officially 
notified Kazakhstan's Energy Ministry that the start of commercial 
production at the project's Kashagan field would likely be delayed 
until the second half of 2010.  According to Energy Minister 
Izmukhambetov, since the Ministry is looking into new expenditures 
associated
with the project, it is not time yet to talk about 
compensation to be paid by Agip KCO for the delay.  "The delay was 
due to additional work required to ensure that the people living in 
the vicinity of Kashagan, the employees and the environment are 
safe," the Minister stated.  "On August 6 we are planning to embark 
on a month-long negotiation on the project.  Once consensus is 
reached, project parameters will be set," Izmukhambetov said. 
 
10.  The Government of Kazakhstan might review the contract with 
Eni, Prime Minister Masimov stated at a GOK meeting on July 30.  "I 
urge you to treat this issue seriously.  I am warning the company 
through the mass media that we view the change in the timeframe for 
the Kashagan project as a change in the contract itself.  Our 
response will match the company's actions," the Prime Minister said. 
 Agip KCO is owned by Eni, Total, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch/Shell 
which have 18.52% each, ConocoPhillips with a 9.26% share, and Inpex 
and KazMunayGas, which have a 8.33% share each.  (Interfax - 
Kazakhstan, July 30) 
 
KazMunayGas to Explore "Nursultan" Field Independently 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
11.  Kazakhstan's national oil and gas company KazMunayGas will 
explore the Nursultan field (Block "N" in the Kazakhstani sector of 
the Caspian Sea) on its own, Energy Minister Izmukhambetov said in 
his interview with "Express-K" newspaper on July 28.  According to 
Izmukhambetov, "This is a promising project based on location and 
expected reserves.  If we confirm expectations, only then will we 
consider whether to invite other companies to participate in the 
project."  Earlier estimates put the geological resources of Block 
"N" at 637 million tons of equivalent fuel.  ("Express-K", July 28) 
 
KazMunayGas Appoints Two Additional Vice-Presidents 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
12.  KazMunayGas (KMG) has created two new posts of vice-president 
with the purpose of improving organizational structure.  Mr. Ulan 
Baizhanov, who worked as KMG Chief of Staff, has been appointed 
Vice-President/Chief of Staff.  Mr. Kaireldy Kabyldin, who worked as 
KMG Managing Director for Transport Infrastructure and Service 
Projects, has been appointed Vice-President for Oil and Gas 
Transportation, Service Projects, Oil Refining and Petrochemicals. 
(KMG Press-Service, July 27) 
 
ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Offices Move to Astana and Atyrau 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
 
13.  ExxonMobil Kazakhstan has moved its main office from Almaty to 
Atyrau to be closer to the operational management of the Tengiz and 
Kashagan projects in the Caspian region, the company said in a press 
release on July 16.  ExxonMobil's Department of Government Relations 
and Public Affairs has moved to Astana.  The company resumed its 
work in new locations on July 10.  (Interfax - Kazakhstan, July 30) 
 
Oil & Gas Statistics in January-June 2007 
----------------------------------------- 
 
14.  According to the National Statistics Agency, from January to 
June 2007, Kazakhstan produced 27.1 million tons of crude oil, down 
5.2% from the same period in 2006.  During the first six months of 
2007 Kazakhstan produced 14.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas, 
26.4% more than in the first half of 2006.  Oil refining in 
January-June amounted to 6.0 million tons, a 9% increase compared to 
the same period in 2006.  (Interfax - Kazakhstan, July 30) 
 
ASTANA 00002315  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2312, KAZAKHSTAN AGREES TO CONSIDER GAER CANDIDACY FOR COMMITTEE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2312 2007-08-24 09:31 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9158
OO RUEHAST
DE RUEHTA #2312 2360931
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 240931Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0464
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 1883
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 0961
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS ASTANA 002312 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR IO/RHS, L/HRR 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM PREL UNGA KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN AGREES TO CONSIDER GAER CANDIDACY FOR COMMITTEE 
AGAINST TORTURE 
 
REF: State 108617 
 
(SBU) Post submitted Ref diplomatic note to the Government of 
Kazakhstan on August 17, and Poloff delivered Ref demarche to the 
MFA Department of International Organizations and Security Issues on 
August 22.  Almabek Demessinov, the head of the United Nations 
section, said that he could see no reason why Kazakhstan would not 
ultimately support the candidacy of Felice Gaer for the Committee 
against Torture, but the MFA had not fully considered the issue yet, 
and was not prepared to make a commitment at this time. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2297, KAZAKHSTAN: UNGA DELEGATION MORE FIRM

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2297 2007-08-24 06:54 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO8965
RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHTA #2297 2360654
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 240654Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0451
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1882
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS ASTANA 002297 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR IO/PPC(Batlle), USUN (McBride), NSC (McDonald), 
SCA/RA (Pfleiderer, Micaller) 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL ITRA OVIP KSEP UNGA KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: UNGA DELEGATION MORE FIRM 
 
REF: State 101170 
 
1. (U) According to Almabek Demessinov, head of the United Nations 
section in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of 
Kazakhstan now has more firm plans concerning its delegation to 
UNGA. Demessinov reports that the information below is "99%" 
certain, and that there are no plans for other ministers or VIPs to 
attend. 
 
2. (SBU) Attendance of the Head of State. 
 
 -- President Nursultan Nazarbayev 
 
 -- arrives in New York on September 24, departs on September 26 
 
 -- spouse will not attend 
 
 -- requires Russian language interpretation 
 
3. (SBU) Attendance of the Foreign Minister. 
 
 -- Minister of Foreign Affairs Marat Tazhin 
 
 -- arrives in New York on September 24, departs on September 26 
 
 -- spouse will not attend 
 
 -- does not require interpretation 
 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2244, CAMPAIGNING IN EASTERN KAZAKHSTAN OBLAST: NUR OTAN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2244 2007-08-19 23:55 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO4213
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2244/01 2312355
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 192355Z AUG 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0415
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1813
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0239
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 ASTANA 002244 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV OSCE KZ
 
SUBJECT: CAMPAIGNING IN EASTERN KAZAKHSTAN OBLAST: NUR OTAN 
DOMINATES RELATIVELY CLEAN AND FAIR CAMPAIGN 
 
REF: A) Astana 2221 B) Astana 2223 
 
ASTANA 00002244  001.8 OF 004 
 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: On August 10-12, Conoff and Con FSN traveled to 
Ust-Kamenogorsk in Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast (central eastern 
Kazakhstan, bordering on China and Russia) to meet with political 
party representatives and local authorities in advance of the August 
18 elections.  Additionally, Conoff attended a "town hall" meeting 
and press conference held by one of the parties and witnessed part 
of an informal campaign event held by another party. In general, the 
political scene in Ust- Kamenogorsk is not unlike what Post has 
observed throughout the country, with opposition parties 
encountering some hindrance (albeit seemingly minor in this 
particular oblast) and voicing concern about possible vote fraud, 
while Nur Otan dominates the airwaves and conducts the most active 
and visible campaign. Local authorities earnestly claim to be doing 
everything fairly and transparently within the law, offering equal 
access and opportunity to all parties.  The opposition parties 
believe that their message - which can be summarized as "We're not 
Nur Otan" - is being well received, and expect that they will get a 
significant portion of the votes between them.  They do not believe 
this will necessarily translate into seats, however, because of vote 
counting issues. End summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
EMBASSY REACHES OUT TO PARTIES, LOCAL AUTHORITIES 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
2. (SBU) On August 10-12, Conoff and Con FSN traveled to the far 
east of Kazakhstan, to the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk.  During the 
trip, Conoff met with a deputy Akim of the Eastern Kazakhstan 
Oblast, the Akim of Ust-Kamenogorsk, representatives of Ak Zhol, and 
representatives of Nur Otan to discuss the progress of the campaign 
in the region.  Conoff also attended a town hall meeting for the 
National Social Democratic Party (NSDP) and witnessed the awards 
ceremony for a run sponsored by Nur Otan. During his travels 
throughout the city, Conoff observed multiple Nur Otan billboards or 
billboards featuring President Nazarbayev, and numerous smaller Nur 
Otan signs on a wide variety of public places, including on the 
outside windows of some city buses and trams, as well as on the 
inside of some buses and trams. Conoff saw virtually no signs or 
advertisements from other parties outside of certain specially 
designated areas for campaign posters. 
 
------------- 
OBLAST AKIMAT 
------------- 
 
3.(U) Conoff met for more than an hour with Deputy Akim of the 
Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast, Amangali Yedrisovich Tazhenov, in his 
well-appointed office in the Akimat headquarters.  Tazhenov said 
that his focus for the elections is making sure they go smoothly and 
without controversy, in accordance with the law, and in a 
transparent manner.  Tazhenov said there were long term observers 
from Switzerland and the Netherlands in the Oblast, and that these 
observers - along with the media and party observers - have 
permission to get all of the information they desire. 
 
4. (U) Tazhenov told Conoff that the goal of the legal authorities 
was to create equal conditions and equal opportunities.  In 
practice, Tazhenov said this means maintaining the official election 
list and giving the parties equal access to mass media and to 
government-owned meeting space.  The oblast designated a secondary 
school for the parties to use for meetings and rallies. (Note: The 
NSDP town hall meeting was in a secondary school auditorium. End 
note.) Tazhenov told Conoff that there is real competition in the 
oblast, region and city Maslikhat elections - on average, 3 
candidates are vying for every seat. 
 
5. (U) Tazhenov told Conoff that some parties have not always been 
able to attract people to their rallies, and that some parties have 
complained about not having access to mass media.  He noted that he 
had asked papers to cover events of political significance, like 
campaign rallies or town hall meetings.  (Comment: The NSDP town 
hall meeting was taped by a couple of news outlets and there was a 
short press conference after the meeting. End comment.) According to 
the law, outside of legitimate news events, organizations - 
including political parties - must pay for newspaper space or 
airtime; even the Akimat must pay.  Tazhenov stressed that it was 
not his goal to promote any particular party, and that all parties 
have the same campaign spending limitations.  However, he noted that 
even if the local authorities treat all parties fairly, not all 
parties have the same skill or the same amount of money from their 
own sponsors.  As for voter lists, Tazhenov said that the Akimat 
gave a voter list to the election commission on July 28.  He 
acknowledged that maintaining a perfect voter list is an extremely 
difficult task. 
 
 
ASTANA 00002244  002.8 OF 004 
 
 
6. (U) Tazhenov said that according to President Nazarbayev,

economics is first, and politics second.  He compared the economic 
growth of Kazakhstan - about 10% per annum for the past few years - 
to Asian Tigers, like Vietnam.  Tazhenov likened Nur Otan to the 
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in post-war Japan.    According to 
him, like the LDP, Nur Otan is supported by the population because 
the party guarantees good for the people, life has improved 
dramatically in the country, and people like stability. 
 
----------- 
CITY AKIMAT 
----------- 
 
7. (U) Conoff met with the Akim of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Shakarym 
Sabyrovich Buktugutov, in his office.  Like the Deputy Akim of the 
Oblast, Buktugutov said that all parties are provided with equal 
facilities and equal opportunities.  He said his two main tasks were 
to supply and support election committees and to ask voters to 
participate in elections.  Buktugutov said the city akimat is not 
involved in the campaigns.  When asked about the tone of these 
elections compared to prior elections, Buktugutov said that 
Ust-Kamenogorsk was not historically very active compared to other 
regions.  Like many observers, Buktugutov expects the turnout for 
these elections to be low due to the summer holidays. 
 
-------- 
NUR OTAN 
-------- 
 
8. (U) Conoff met with chairman of the Oblast division of Nur Otan 
Tulegen Toktasynovich Ibrayev and candidate Svetlana Ivanovna Ferkho 
at Nur Otan's oblast party headquarters.  The headquarters occupy a 
modern 3-story building with the Nur Otan name prominently displayed 
on the front.  Conoff also witnessed part of an informal campaign 
event, an awards ceremony for a run sponsored by Nur Otan. 
 
9. (SBU) Ibrayev said Nur Otan was following all laws in its 
election preparations.  Although some observers say the election is 
really a contest between Nur Otan and NSDP, Ibrayev said that they 
don't consider one party their rival and treat all parties as worthy 
opponents.  Ibrayev said that on a fundamental level there is little 
difference between the parties.  All parties want the same thing, 
namely that Kazakhstanis live better, but some parties have 
different ideas of how to achieve this goal.  Regarding turnout, 
Ibrayev said he had heard rumors that it would be low this election, 
but he said that the government has done so much for the people that 
they will show up and vote even though it's a summer election. 
(Comment: Ibrayev's answer to party differences was a common one. 
When directly asked, Ak Zhol also said that all parties have the 
same goal.  There appears to be an emphasis on shared goals and a 
lack of emphasis on ideology.  As in other regions, Nur Otan's 
financial and institutional advantages were clearly apparent.  In 
addition to these advantages, the party seemed far more 
knowledgeable about and focused on the mechanics of organizing a 
campaign and getting out the vote. End comment.) 
 
10. (U) According to Ibrayev, Nur Otan is very connected to the 
people.  All of the party's candidates go anywhere to meet with 
voters, whether it's to meet 5 people or to meet 100.  As in other 
regions, Nur Otan also performs "social services" in Eastern 
Kazakhstan Oblast - there is a room on the first floor of the 
headquarters building dedicated to this work.  Nur Otan is focused 
on public works in Ust-Kamenogorsk.  Ibrayev gave the example of 
cleaning the city - he said beginning 3 months ago Nur Otan 
organized a large campaign to clean up and renovate apartment 
courtyards.  He also mentioned "subbotniks", who spend their 
weekends helping clean the city.  Ibrayev said the akimat helped Nur 
Otan do projects. 
 
11. (U) Ibrayev said the Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast division of Nur 
Otan often consults with the national party. He said that Nur Otan 
is a young party, only 8 years old, and does not have a large number 
of professional political specialists yet.  In order to train and 
develop these specialists, leaders of the oblast party attend 
training events given by the national party.  When asked by Conoff 
if Nur Otan is institutionalizing beyond President Nazarbayev, 
Ibrayev said that everybody knows that Nazarbayev is leader of Nur 
Otan, but they also know which local leaders are Nur Otan.  He said 
that the party cares about the quality of its candidates and 
leaders, and that membership in the party is voluntary.  (Note: Both 
Ak Zhol and NSDP made reference to certain organizations, such as 
hospitals, requiring employees to pay dues to Nur Otan.  End note.) 
 
12. (U) In addition, Nur Otan actively sponsors events.  Ibrayev 
said that 2 days prior to meeting with Conoff there was a "day of 
friendship" with many of the 93 different nationalities in Eastern 
Kazakhstan Oblast conducting short performances.  He said the event 
 
ASTANA 00002244  003.2 OF 004 
 
 
was extremely well attended. Ibrayev said that the day after meeting 
Conoff Nur Otan was sponsoring a youth competition regarding the 
history of the region.  The day after the meeting, Conoff saw the 
end of another informal event sponsored by Nur Otan, a run.  There 
were about 100-150 people standing in a semi-circle around an emcee 
and an awards podium, located on a closed street. Much of the crowd 
consisted of teenage girls wearing sports uniforms and Nur Otan 
hats.  Virtually everyone in the audience had a Nur Otan hat and 
flag.  Both Ibrayev and Ferkho were in attendance, with the latter 
prominently wearing a large white Nur Otan t-shirt.  The emcee 
announced the winners of the run, and then there was a call for 
people to register their names for a prize drawing. 
 
------- 
AK ZHOL 
------- 
 
13. (U) Conoff met several local Ak Zhol candidates and chairman of 
the oblast division of Ak Zhol and candidate Natalya Tsikunova in Ak 
Zhol's headquarters.  The meeting took place in Tsinukova's office 
behind a shop, and appeared to be the office from her job as 
director of a small private firm (as well as being Ak Zhol's 
headquarters). 
 
14. (SBU) Tsikunova said she expected Ak Zhol to receive 25% of the 
votes.  She said she is pretty sure the voters will cast ballots for 
Ak Zhol, but she has no doubts that the votes will not be counted in 
a fair manner.  When asked how she came up with her forecast of 25%, 
she said that Ak Zhol has 16,000 party members in the region and 
many others who are sympathetic.  She said Ak Zhol held 2 meetings 
with national party leaders in the secondary school and both were 
well attended. 
 
15. (SBU) Tsikunova said the pre-election period was fair.  Ak Zhol 
had no problems from the authorities getting posters up, and had no 
problems with the posters other than petty vandalism that affects 
all parties.  Conoff only saw a few Ak Zhol posters on certain 
specially designated boards.  When asked by Conoff why he hadn't 
seen many posters, Tsikunova said there was a planned publicity 
blitz in the last week of the campaign.  Tsikunova said that the N
ur 
Otan posters on the buses and trams were not a violation of any 
laws, and that it was simply a matter of money.  In fact, Ak Zhol 
intended to run similar ads in the following week.  Tsikunova said 
that the authorities had not interfered with placing advertisements 
in newspapers, and as proof handed Conoff a regional paper with two 
ads for Ak Zhol candidates (and one Nur Otan candidate).  However, 
she did say that some newspapers had declined their ads, stating 
that they didn't want any trouble.  Tsikunova said she faced the 
same reaction from some business owners when asking about placing 
campaign posters on their property.  Tsikunova mentioned that 
although things had generally been fair, there was sometimes a 
blending of Nur Otan events and official city events.  For example, 
Ust-Kamenogorsk's City Day was moved from August 30th to August 11th 
and the celebration occurred in the main square where Nur Otan 
happened to be holding an event. 
 
16. (SBU) Tsikunova said Ak Zhol was not really an opposition party, 
but rather a party of the Kazakhstani people.  They have a point of 
view on every question and are willing to support the government 
when it has good ideas.  She said the platforms for all 3 main 
parties are virtually the same - improve the quality of life for 
Kazakhstanis.  Ak Zhol's emphasis is quality of life for teachers, 
doctors, and pensioners.  Tsikunova stated that Ak Zhol also 
performs "social services", but these appear to be of a much smaller 
scale than Nur Otan's. 
 
17. (SBU) Virtually all of the Ak Zhol candidates present said there 
were big problems with the voter lists.  They said that the Akims 
had - with no apparent legal basis - appointed supporters to be in 
charge of the voter list in micro regions.  The candidates said that 
these supporters did poor work and may even have intentionally left 
off supporters of opposition parties.  One candidate said his family 
was not on the voter list.  The candidates also said there is a main 
voter list and an auxiliary list of people who are potentially 
eligible, and in order to get on the main voter list a potential 
voter needs to bring an apartment/home registration in addition to 
identification.  The candidates feared that "babushkas" who tried to 
get on the voter list and failed would not try again. 
 
18. (SBU) The candidates stated that Nur Otan's power is due only to 
President Nazarbayev. They said Nur Otan membership is mandatory in 
a lot of places, like hospitals.  They mentioned a large local firm 
which requires employees to join Nur Otan and have 50 tenge a month 
withheld from their paycheck. The candidates said this practice was 
illegal, but that Kazakhstani people were too afraid to do anything 
about it.  Tsikunova said that despite the problems, a multi-party 
system exists and not only does she not feel any official pressure, 
 
ASTANA 00002244  004.2 OF 004 
 
 
but she says she can go to the city administration and they will 
listen. 
 
-------------------------------- 
NATIONAL SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY 
-------------------------------- 
 
19. (U) Conoff attended a town hall meeting (and subsequent press 
conference) occasioned by 3 national NSDP candidates campaigning in 
Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast.  Numerous college-age people dressed in 
NSDP t-shirts guided potential voters to the site of the meeting, an 
auditorium in a secondary school.  Approximately 200-225 people 
attended the meeting. There were no signs whatsoever of interference 
from local authorities.  The local affiliate of the Kazakhstan TV 
channel and another station taped the event. 
 
20. (U) The crowd greeted the entrance of the 3 candidates with a 
standing ovation.  The keynote speaker was party leader Zharmakhan 
Tuyakbay.  Tuyakbay greeted the crowd, evenly mixed between Kazakhs 
and ethnic Russians, first in Kazakh and then in Russian.  Tuyakbay 
talked of a "New Kazakhstan" and described in detail 7 specific 
points in NSDP's platform: 
 
 1. Fight corruption 
 2. Reform monopolies; subsidize and regulate energy and gas prices 
3. Reform and subsidize higher education 
4. Increase state pensions and lower age of eligibility 
5. Develop rural areas 
6. Pro-family policies including rewards for having children 
7. Support Kazakhstani common people.  Fight decline of Kazakhstani 
values and traditions.  Use Kazakhstani resources for the benefits 
of the people, not the few.  Get a bigger share of the profit from 
foreign investors. 
 
21. (U) Concluding his speech, Tuyakbay extolled the virtues of the 
NSDP, which he called the only opposition party.  He said that the 
Communist Party urged him to boycott the election, knowing that the 
vote counting process would be unfair.  But Tuyakbay said he decided 
to stay in the elections to show the bad parts of Nur Otan's 
practices and to show the way of fair politics. 
 
22. (U) After his speech, Tuyakbay took questions from the audience 
for about 30-40 minutes. Most of the questions were from citizens 
who wanted more from the government, and most of Tuyakbay's answers 
were populist in tone.  Notably, he was asked about an official 
language policy.  Tuyakbay said that on the one hand you need to 
have a state policy that takes the interests of Kazakhs and ethnic 
Russians into account.  He said he didn't know the answer, but he'd 
like to discuss the issue more in the future.  (Comment: The 
ambivalent attitude towards the language question was apparent 
during the whole meeting.  Tuyakbay's name was written in Kazakh on 
the campaign literature, and several questioners addressed him in 
Kazakh rather than Russian.  This led to a fidgety lack of 
understanding from the 50% of the audience that did not speak 
Kazakh.  End comment.)  The other notable question came from a woman 
who complained that there isn't enough information about the 
political parties.  Tuyakbay said that all TV is owned by rich 
people who are in government and you will never see any programs of 
opposition or criticism, only cheerful reports.  Tuyakbay said 
Kazakhstan needs to create a public TV station so that any ordinary 
person could stand up and raise issues. He went on to say that if 
newspapers publish articles the government doesn't like, the papers 
are bought or destroyed or its staff is threatened.  Tuyakbaya said 
there is a hidden struggle and there is no choice but to go to the 
villages and tell the truth. 
 
23. (U) A second candidate spoke briefly and said NSDP is the only 
true opposition and that all other parties are supported by Nur Otan 
and government.  The candidate said NSDP pays for ads, but the other 
parties get them free.  The candidate echoed Tuyakbay's calls for 
better resource distribution to common Kazakhs
tani people.  The 
candidate addressed a representative of the akimat in the audience 
and told him that NSDP is powerful and he shouldn't think that the 
authorities can get away with falsifying results. 
 
24. (U) There was a short press conference after the town hall 
meeting.  Ironically, the press conference was held in a classroom 
where a small poster of President Nazarbayev extolled his 
achievements.  The local affiliate of the Kazakhstan TV channel and 
another local TV channel participated.  Three questions were asked - 
none particularly interesting or probing - and the press conference 
concluded in about 5 minutes. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2239, KAZAKHSTAN: MAZHILIS ELECTION ROUNDUP, AUGUST 17

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2239 2007-08-17 08:32 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO2965
RR RUEHAST RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #2239/01 2290832
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170832Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0405
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1810
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 8098
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 8010
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7227
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2216
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1470

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 002239 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV OSCE KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: MAZHILIS ELECTION ROUNDUP, AUGUST 17 
 
1. (U) This is the seventh and final cable in a series of weekly 
election roundups in advance of Kazakhstan's August 18 Mazhilis and 
Maslikhat elections.  Items were drawn primarily from the local 
press and media. The official campaign season closed at midnight on 
August 16. 
 
--------------------------------- 
PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV ON ELECTIONS 
--------------------------------- 
 
2. (U) On August 15 President Nazarbayev urged his fellow citizens 
to take part in the August 18 elections. He underscored the 
importance of these elections as a test of the country's democratic 
maturity. "The election on August 18 will become the final stage of 
the constitutional reform and a starting point for a new political 
history of Kazakhstan." Nazarbayev also warned against any attempts 
to use the elections for destabilization of the situation in 
Kazakhstan. (www.akorda.kz. 08-15-07) 
 
3. (U) On August 16 President Nazarbayev gave an interview to the 
Russian television station Vesti in which he urged Russian President 
Vladimir Putin to ignore foreign criticism, change Russia's 
constitution, and stay on as leader. In the interview, he said "I 
don't understand why the Russian president has to finish his 
presidency and leave.  You know, you can look and listen to what 
they say abroad and in Europe, and I have been listening for 15 
years.  They can say anything, but a president should do what his 
people and his state need.  When your people assess your work, the 
results are all, the rest is rubbish." 
 
----------------------------------------- 
NATIONAL SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY CAMPAIGN 
----------------------------------------- 
 
4. (U) On August 7 leaders of the National Social Democratic Party 
(NSDP) Bulat Abilov and Amirzhan Kosanov held a press conference in 
Almaty to brief journalists about their election campaign, alleging 
that state television and state newspapers have become the Nur Otan 
mass media, considering their disproportionate positive coverage of 
Nur Otan.   Moreover, according to Abilov, the NSDP has not been 
offered appropriate places for their party billboards: several 
places offered were well outside the city.   Abilov also announced 
the party's plan to file a lawsuit against the Prosecutor General's 
office, which found that the party television commercial called "One 
Country - Two Fortunes" and cited social discord.  "We are not 
inciting any discord.  We showed poverty in our rich country.   It 
really exists in the country," Abilov said.  (Interfax, August 7) 
 
5. (U) Having examined a complaint by the NSDP, the Prosecutor 
General's office recommended that the editorial board of the 
Kazakhstanskaya Pravda daily follow the requirements of the 
Constitution and the law.  The Prosecutor General's letter to the 
editor-in-chief of the newspaper stated that "the editorial staff 
has edited an interview with Zharmakhan Tuyakbay by deleting some 
sentences from the original text having no legal grounds or permits 
from the candidate." The NSDP is satisfied by the Prosecutor 
General's response to their complaint. On August 6 the chief of the 
NSDP headquarters, Oraz Zhandosov, addressed a letter to 
Kazakhstanskaya Pravda asking the newspaper to publish the initial 
version of the interview.  (Interfax, August 6) 
 
------------------ 
TELEVISION DEBATES 
------------------ 
 
6. (U) On August 9, Channel 31 recorded and broadcast a debate 
between representatives of Nur Otan and the NSDP.  Bulat Abilov and 
Oraz Zhandosov represented NSDP and Chairman of Kazyna Fund Kayrat 
Kelimbetov and Minister of Culture and Information Yermukhamet 
Yertysbayev represented Nur Otan.  The party representatives 
discussed political reforms, diversification of the economy, freedom 
of speech, the natural resources extraction industry, the National 
Fund revenues, the fight against corruption and the legalization of 
property. 
 
7. (U) Though the debate was organized and moderated by Channel 31, 
the event took place in the studios of the government owned 
Kazakhstan TV company, because Channel 31 does not have such 
facilities in Astana. After the debate was recorded, Yertysbayev and 
his staff took control of the videotape, and did not return it to 
Channel 31 officials until shortly before the scheduled broadcast 
time. (Interfax Kazakhstan; NSDP press release, August 9) 
 
8. (U) Channel 31 broadcast the debate nationwide on August 9 during 
prime time. Among other things, Yertysbayev and Kelimbetov accused 
the NSDP of being populist and promising unreasonable social 
 
ASTANA 00002239  002 OF 003 
 
 
benefits, while Abilov and Zhandosov pointed to Kazakhstan's poor 
record of advancing political reform, protecting free speech, and 
fighting "systematic corruption." (Comment: The debate was a heated 
and open discussion between the party in power and the opposition, 
and was perhaps the first full-scale television debate in the 
history
of Kazakhstani politics.  End comment.)  The recording of 
the debate was edited before broadcast to remove some of NSDP's 
criticisms of the government's tender of broadcasting licenses, and 
to insert remarks from commentators into the middle of the debate. 
The NSDP also accused Yertysbayev of using editing techniques to 
reduce the sound quality of the tape when the NSDP representatives 
were speaking. Yertysbayev denied that he did anything improper, and 
said that television companies are entitled to exercise their 
freedom of creative production. 
 
------------------------------ 
ELECTION COVERAGE ON THE RADIO 
------------------------------ 
 
9. (U) Kazakh Radio completed its election campaign program, which 
was launched on July 31.    Leaders of each party contesting the 
Mazhilis elections went on the air to discuss the political platform 
of their parties.  During a 60-minute live broadcast, each leader 
answered questions received through the government web site.  NSDP 
leader Zharmakhan Tuyakbay was the last to appear on the radio 
program.  He discussed salary increase for physicians, teachers and 
scientists, and the education and healthcare aspect of his party's 
platform.  (Kazakhstan TV, August 8) 
 
-------- 
SURVEYS 
-------- 
 
10. (U) Nur Otan, the NSDP and Ak Zhol lead the election campaigning 
in terms of media coverage, Congress of Journalists representative 
Seytkazy Matayev announced at a press conference in Almaty on August 
6.   According to a survey conducted by the Congress, the three 
parties were more often cited in mass media than other parties.  The 
survey was conducted from July 18 though August 4 and analyzed 
coverage in 26 newspapers, 8 TV channels and 17 Internet sites. 
During this period Nur Otan was cited in mass media 1345 times (30.8 
per cent), the NSDP - 922 times (21 per cent) and Ak Zhol - 780 
times (17.8 per cent).  (Khabar and Interfax, August 6) 
 
11. (U) On August 18, 75.1% of the electorate will vote for Nur 
Otan, the official Kazakhstanskaya Pravda daily reported on August 
7, citing the results of a survey conducted by the Ksilon Astana CG 
company.  The survey predicted that Ak Zhol will win 6.9%, the NSDP 
3.4%, the People's Communist Party 3.1%, and the others less than 
3%.   According to the survey, 60 to 70% of the electorate will 
participate in the elections.  Ksilon surveyed 1220 people from July 
22 through July 30, but did not specify in which regions it 
conducted the poll. 
 
------------------------------------- 
ODIHR INTERIM REPORT AND CEC RESPONSE 
------------------------------------- 
 
13. (U) On Thursday, August 9, ODIHR published its interim election 
monitoring report describing the election campaign as generally calm 
and low key. The report raised a number of concerns about 
Kazakhstan's election law, including the election of 9 deputies by 
the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, which in ODIHR's view violates 
the OSCE standard requiring that at least one legislative body be 
chosen entirely through direct election by voters.  As far as the 
conduct of the election campaign, the ODIHR observers reported no 
major violations of the law, though it reported a number of 
complaints by parties, including interference by local officials in 
campaign events and difficulty accessing advertising venues.  The 
report stated that the media has generally presented the views of 
all political parties, though most news broadcasts are dominated by 
positive coverage of Nur Otan. The report also noted that the 
president called on citizens to vote for Nur Otan during his 
official visits to a number of cities, which is contrary to the law 
banning active campaigning by government officials during 
performance of their official duties. Finally, the report described 
the concerns of some political parties about possible fraud during 
the vote counting process. 
 
14. (U) Though the ODIHR interim report was not conclusive and not 
overwhelmingly negative, the CEC on August 12 published a lengthy 
and forceful rebuttal of all points raised in the report. The CEC 
emphasized that President Nazarbayev did not violate the law by 
campaigning while performing official duties, because he has the 
right to act as Nur Otan's leader and he did not technically call 
for people to vote for a specific party.  In addition, the CEC 
 
ASTANA 00002239  003 OF 003 
 
 
denied that the election of nine deputies by the Assembly does not 
comply with international standards, referring to a number of 
international documents that allow countries to make special 
provisions for including ethnic minorities in legislative bodies. 
 
15. (U) The CEC also rejected accusations that the NSDP campaign was 
hindered in the regions, stating that no government agencies have 
hindered any of the political parties.  The CEC acknowledged that it 
received a number of complaints from the NSDP, but the majority of 
those were investigated and rejected as false. 
 
16. (U) In addition, the CEC insisted that all political parties' 
campaigns were covered fairly and equally by the media, noting that 
frequency of media coverage depended on how active the parties were. 
The CEC supported the national television stations that refused to 
air certain NSDP TV ads, citing the Prosecutor General finding that 
the ads in question incited social discord. 
 
-------------------------- 
REPORTS OF OTHER OBSERVERS 
-------------------------- 
 
17. (U) On August 14, the Republican Network of Independent Monitors 
(RNIM) publish the results of its long-term observations. The RNIM 
report echoed the main criticisms found in the ODIHR report, 
focusing on the illegitimacy of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan 
election process in the participation of government officials, 
including high-level officials and the president, and the election 
campaign while performing their official duties. The RNIM also 
disagreed with the Prosecutor General on its assessment of the NSDP 
TV ads that were not aired by television stations, stating that they 
were not a call for action and thus cannot incite social discord. 
The RNIM noted several positive changes in this year's election 
campaign: good organization by the CEC, a very useful CEC website, 
greater voter awareness of elections, and the provision of 
additional TV and radio air time for parties. 
 
18. (U) On August 15, the CIS election observation mission published 
its interim report, which assessed the election campaign as 
compliant with the law.  The CIS report said that the process of 
electing deputies through the Assembly Of People of Kazakhstan 
complies with international standards, though the mechanism of such 
election requires further improvement (Interfax Kz. 08-15-07) 
 
----------- 
VOTER LISTS 
----------- 
 
19. (U) A number of observers
and the CEC itself admitted that voter 
lists were not yet completely accurate. To address this issue, the 
CEC established ad hoc information offices in oblast centers, 
Almaty, and Astana to help re-direct voters if they arrive to vote 
and cannot find their name on voter lists.  The CEC publicly 
encouraged voters, through public service announcements and text 
messages, to verify their names in advance by visiting their polling 
place or the CEC website. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2223, SCENESETTER: KAZAKHSTAN ELECTION PREVIEW

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #07ASTANA2223.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2223 2007-08-14 13:03 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9844
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2223/01 2261303
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141303Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0384
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1808
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0237
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002223 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN M. O'MARA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV OSCE KZ
 
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER: KAZAKHSTAN ELECTION PREVIEW 
 
REF: A. Astana 2069 B. Astana 1906 
 
ASTANA 00002223  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: With Kazakhstan's parliamentary elections headed 
into the final few days of campaigning, it is clear that the 
pre-election period has been substantially freer and fairer than in 
any prior election.  As one pundit put it, the political field is 
now much more level, although there are still some big bumps, as Nur 
Otan maintains significant institutional advantages.  The two 
principal opposition parties have had an opportunity to wage a 
vigorous campaign, with few obstacles to meeting voters and placing 
advertising on television and radio, and in the print media. 
Television, while neither unbiased nor equal in its reporting, 
nonetheless has for the first time provided substantial coverage of 
the opposition's campaign efforts and broadcast two debates. Despite 
the improvements, however, the splintered opposition's failure to 
deliver a focused message, the popularity of President Nazarbayev, 
and voter apathy may yet result in a massive Nur Otan victory, an 
unappealing result for the GOK. End Summary. 
 
Pre-election Campaigning: So Far, So Good 
----------------------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) Presidential Administration Chief Adilbek Dzhaksybekov 
spoke to the Ambassador at length on August 14 about the 
authorities' efforts to provide an opportunity for the opposition to 
make its case to the electorate, and a definitive decision by 
President Nazarbayev to accept the results of the election. 
Interestingly, he noted that there had been "discussions" within the 
Administration about other approaches, but he said that he has never 
considered any other option realistic for Kazakhstan at this point 
in its history.   He said that such a positive and constructive 
approach is important for Kazakhstan's development and for 
Nazarbayev's legacy of creating a democratic society. He added that 
new election day procedures for counting ballots and distributing 
precinct-level protocols make it "impossible" for any widespread 
cheating to occur. 
 
3. (SBU) The Ambassador met with National Social Democratic Party 
(NSDP) leaders Bulat Abilov and Oraz Zhandosov on August 10.  While 
they offered a number of examples of impediments to their campaign 
and "bad faith" by the government and Nur Otan, they appeared to be 
primarily focused on running their campaign and getting their 
message out.  They, too, said that newspapers were completely free 
to cover the campaign as they wished, and that there had been little 
or no interference with their campaign rallies, distribution of 
literature, or meetings with voters.  They did complain, however, 
about biased television coverage and a lack of access to commercial 
billboards. (Reftel A) 
 
Election Day: The Main Test 
--------------------------- 
 
4. (SBU) New electoral and counting procedures, if implemented as 
designed, may yet reduce the opportunities to distort the vote count 
and aggregation.  New requirements include displaying each ballot to 
all commission members and observers before counting it, providing 
all interested parties with copies of the protocol of results, and 
allowing each party competing in the election the right to have a 
"consultative" member (without vote) at each level of the election 
commissions (Reftel B).  (Note: NSDP plans to have such 
representatives on higher-level commissions, but only observers at 
the precinct level. End Note.)  In addition, the Central Election 
Committee (CEC) has promised to post precinct-by-precinct results on 
the Internet, allowing observers to compare the protocols they 
received with the ones used to calculate the final results. 
(Comment:  The sooner the CEC does this the better, although there 
appears to be some debate within the Commission about whether to put 
the protocols on the Internet as they are received, or only after 
all the results are tabulated and announced. End Comment.) 
 
5. (SBU) Historically, efforts by local and regional authorities to 
ensure that they produce better-than-average results for the 
president and his party have been a major source of election fraud 
in Kazakhstan.  The Ambassador has heard from Dzhakysebekov and his 
deputy Maulen Ashimbayev, as well as from Nur Otan campaign chairman 
Kairat Kelimbetov, that they have explicitly told local authorities 
not to interfere with the ballot counting process.  Nonetheless, the 
chances of at least isolated attempts of malfeasance by local 
authorities are high - and it is certainly possible that they could 
be widespread enough to discredit the entire process.  We are fairly 
confident, however, that the OSCE election observation mission will 
be in a position to detect and report on any significant level of 
such abuse. 
 
The Outcome 
----------- 
 
ASTANA 00002223  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
6. (SBU) We can predict with a high degree of confidence that Nur 
Otan will win a majority, perhaps even a large majorit
y, of the 
votes cast.  We also expect that voter turnout will be relatively 
low.  Beyond that, crystal balls are in substantial disagreement, 
and published polls are all over the map and in our view totally 
unreliable.  In the last election, USAID financed both pre-election 
and exit polls using reliable independent contractors and 
methodologies.  Unfortunately, there was neither time nor the budget 
to arrange for such polling for these elections. 
 
7. (SBU) The Presidential Administration tells us that their 
internal polls suggest low votes for the two principal opposition 
parties, Ak Zhol and NSDP.  In an August 9 meeting with the 
Ambassador, Presidential Administration Deputy Chief Ashimbayev said 
that their information suggested that NSDP would not pass the 7 
percent threshold.  NSDP Abilov and Zhandosov, however, claimed that 
their polling suggested the party was getting 20 percent or more 
among "likely voters," and was leading in Almaty and two or three 
other regions. 
 
8. (SBU) The outcome will largely depend on turnout, and Nur Otan is 
likely to have a significant advantage in getting its supporters to 
the polls.  It is much easier to mobilize voters in rural areas, 
where the opposition has significantly less support.  Urban voters 
seem largely unexcited by the campaign.  Abilov and Zhandosov said 
that they were anticipating a 20-30 percent turnout in Almaty, and 
that even strong supporters were telling them they saw no reason to 
vote this time. 
 
9. (SBU) Comment: We think there is a reasonable chance that both 
NSDP and Ak Zhol will get more than 7 percent of the vote and get 
representation in Parliament - although it is also conceivable that 
both could fall short and the new Parliament will be completely in 
the hands of one party - an outcome our contacts in the Presidential 
Administration tell us would be undesirable and embarrassing.  Our 
reaction to the election process, and the standard to which we 
should hold the GOK, especially in view of its candidacy for the 
OSCE chairmanship in 2009, should not focus on the results.  Rather, 
it should be focused on the process and take as its factual basis 
the OSCE election observation effort.  So far, the OSCE's criticism 
has focused primarily on two legislative provisions that the 
observation mission believes are inconsistent with the Copenhagen 
commitments.  These are both important issues, and could very well 
be on our post-election agenda with the GOK as we determine how to 
proceed to evaluate Kazakhstan's candidacy for the chairmanship, but 
in our view are separate issues from the conduct of the elections 
themselves. End Comment.

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2222, CAMPAIGNING IN NORTHERN KAZAKHSTAN OBLAST: WHERE ART THOU,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2222 2007-08-14 08:37 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9592
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2222/01 2260837
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140837Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0381
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0234
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 002222 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN - O'MARA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM OSCE KDEM KZ
SUBJECT: CAMPAIGNING IN NORTHERN KAZAKHSTAN OBLAST: WHERE ART THOU, 
OPPOSITION? 
 
Ref: Astana 1906 
 
ASTANA 00002222  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1. (SBU) Summary.  Northern Kazakhstan Oblast (NKO) presents an 
interesting, albeit somewhat extreme, microcosm of Kazakhstan's 
campaign for upcoming Mazhilis [lower house of Parliament] and 
regional legislative elections.  The oblast, which has the 
distinction of having been the strongest supporter of President 
Nazarbayev's reelection in 2005 (over 95% of the votes cast went for 
Nazarbayev, compared to a national average of 91%), is currently a 
pioneer in the nationwide trend of blurring the boundaries between 
the government and the ruling Nur Otan party.  With oblast leaders 
also holding matching leadership positions in the oblast branch of 
the Nur Otan, the NKO is a poster child for the systemic obstacles 
to Kazakhstan's prospects of carrying out free and fair elections 
and becoming a more democratic society.  Kazakhstan's divided, 
resource-hungry, struggling opposition is inconspicuous in the NKO. 
End summary. 
 
Can You Tear Us Apart?  Oblast Government and Nur Otan 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
2. (SBU) NKO (pop. 658,430), a deputy oblast akim proudly told 
visiting Econoff, has a unique match-up of leadership positions 
between the oblast government and the oblast apparatus of Nur Otan. 
The oblast's akim is the head of the Nur Otan oblast branch, the 
city akim of Petropavlovsk (oblast capital, pop. 193,321) is the 
head of the Petropavlovsk Nur Otan branch, and each and every rayon 
(i.e. county) akim is the head of Nur Otan's rayon branch.  NKO and 
Nur Otan officials did note to Econoff that the akims separate their 
government and party responsibilities.   A rayon akim, they said, 
does his government work in his government office (akimat) and 
engages in party activities at the rayon's Nur Otan headquarters. 
The Tayynshinski rayon akim also stated that his party leadership 
does not detract from his government work.  In any case, this fusion 
of government and Nur Otan leadership in NKO is likely to endure: 
just as oblast akims enjoy unlimited terms (serving at the 
president's pleasure), rayon akims are appointed by the oblast akim 
for unspecified periods. 
 
3. (SBU) Apart from blurred boundaries between oblast government and 
the Nur Otan apparatus, there are plentiful signs that Nur Otan is, 
in its own right, a very powerful institution.  The party's oblast 
headquarters occupies a newly built, spacious building in 
Petropavlovsk.   Petropavlovsk also has a separate headquarters for 
the Nur Otan city branch.  Likewise, each rayon appears to have its 
own Nur Otan headquarters.  The headquarters tend to have a "public 
services" section, which employs lawyers that hear - and attempt to 
respond to - citizens' complaints and requests, most commonly on 
issues such as housing and public services.  (Comment:  Given Nur 
Otan's stranglehold on NKO's government structures, the party is 
uniquely positioned to offer effective assistance to the local 
citizenry.  End comment.) 
 
4. (SBU) These institutional strengths contrast sharply with the 
position the opposition finds itself in.  The two mainstream 
opposition parties, the National Social Democratic Party (NSDP) and 
Ak Zhol currently have no elected officials anywhere in the NKO 
government (i.e. no members of oblast or rayon maslikhats [local 
legislatures]).  The two parties do have oblast headquarters: NSDP 
operates in a modest apartment; Ak Zhol rents a small, decrepit 
basement.  For both, these are their only facilities in all of the 
NKO.  Each opposition party is only working in the oblast to promote 
itself in national (Mazhilis) elections.  Representatives of both 
told Econoff that they do not have the resources to engage in 
campaigning for rayon (local) maslikhats.  NSDP does have a "public 
services" section employing one attorney; Ak Zhol - which only plans 
to maintain its headquarters for the duration of the campaign - does 
not. 
 
Campaign is on, Opposition Largely Invisible 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
5. (SBU) The signs of the election season are hard to miss in and 
around Petropavlovsk.  Three types of large billboards line the 
city's main arteries.  The first simply announce upcoming elections; 
the second are official campaign posters for Nur Otan, with 
fine-print legal disclaimers at the bottom identifying them as such; 
and the third are "anonymous" posters featuring President Nazarbayev 
and a patriotic slogan or praise for his policies.  (A typical 
example featured a large image of Nazarbayev against the backdrop of 
high-rise buildings with a sentence applauding the president's 
housing policy.)  (Note:  Variations of these billboards can 
normally be found in modest numbers throughout Kazakhstan during 
non-election periods.  End note.) 
 
6. (SBU) Nur Otan and Ak Zhol focus their efforts in Petropavlovsk 
on
plastering their leaflets on official, designated "posts" that 
 
ASTANA 00002222  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
provide advertising space to each of the seven parties competing in 
the election.  These "posts" did not appear to feature prominently 
in the city.  Each rayon of the oblast is, likewise, supposed to 
have a "board" divided into seven equal sections for displaying each 
party's campaign information.  In the Kyzylzharskiy rayon, such a 
board was indeed located close to the rayon akimat building and 
featured seven equal sections.  Only two parties, however, had their 
leaflets displayed: Nur Otan and the Auyl (a populist rural party). 
In the Tayynshinski rayon, the board was located rather far from the 
official center, was not divided into sections, and was largely 
covered with Nur Otan posters. 
 
7. (SBU) In practice, many campaign leaflets adorn private property 
- buildings, shops, fences, etc.  The law allows posting campaign 
materials on private property with the owner's permission.  In 
practice, NSDP activists told Econoff, this provision works 
overwhelmingly in Nur Otan's favor.  Business owners feel pressured 
to satisfy Nur Otan's requests to display the party's materials on 
their property.  Conversely, NSDP representatives said, business 
owners are often terrified when faced with the same request by the 
NSDP.  Moreover, "permission by owner" seems to be a rather flexible 
concept when it comes to Nur Otan.  For example, a large post office 
building in the Tayynshinski rayon prominently featured Nur Otan 
leaflets.  "The post office, the building owner, gave its 
permission," gingerly explained a deputy rayon akim.  (Note: The 
Post Office, KazPost, is a state-owned company.  End note.) 
 
8. (SBU) NKO's NSDP representatives stated that they do intend to 
campaign by means of posting and leafleting in rural areas.  A 
significant obstacle, they said, was a bureaucratic delay in getting 
its activists accredited as official party campaigners.  Only 
individuals with such accreditation, NSDP explained, may legally 
take part in "campaigning" activities.  However, party officials 
stated, even though official campaigning had only started on July 
18, they were only receiving some of the requested accreditations in 
the first week of August. 
 
Voting Irregularities Ahead?  Opposition is Worried 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
9. (SBU) The biggest concern for the NSDP and Ak Zhol appears to be 
over the voting and counting processes.  A key factor here is the 
opposition's absence from the local election commissions (reftel). 
The head of the oblast election commission told Econoff that his 
seven-member commission consists of representatives from Nur Otan 
and two small parties (not including NSDP or Ak Zhol).  In theory, 
each party nominates to the commission one person, who is then 
subject to confirmation by the oblast maslikhat, which is dominated 
by Nur Otan and lacks a single member from the two mainstream 
opposition parties.  Without having its representatives on the 
election commissions, the NSDP and Ak Zhol have a limited 
opportunity to participate in election observation.  (Note:  A 
recent law, however, gives political parties without election 
commission representation the right to non-voting participation in 
the commissions (reftel).  End note.) 
 
10. (SBU) Another potential problem, Ak Zhol representatives told 
Econoff, centers on state institutions, such as universities and 
hospitals.  In the past, they alleged, there have been instances of 
what they termed "envelope voting," where universities "submit" the 
votes of their students, and hospitals "submit" the votes of their 
patients.  Introduction of Saylau (the optional electronic voting 
system) may, Ak Zhol said, help alleviate this problem.  Still, the 
Ak Zhol representative stated, "we do not trust the computer 
system," adding that in the last election, the authorities often 
refused to provide voters the option of casting a paper ballot 
despite a legal requirement to do so. 
 
11. (SBU) The Ak Zhol representative also stated that fears of 
oblast authorities' interference have caused Ak Zhol-allied 
candidates for the Petropavlovsk city maslikhat to run as 
independents.  "The fact," he added, "is that the oblast Akimat 
already has lists of winners in all the maslikhat elections."  The 
Nur Otan official also remarked that the opposition is competing for 
the city maslikhat but expressed bewilderment at the opposition 
candidates' decision to run as independents. 
 
The Long, Hard Slog to Pluralism 
-------------------------------- 
 
12. (SBU) The split of the mainstream opposition was quite palpable 
in Econoff's discussions with the NSDP and Ak Zhol.  NSDP 
representatives stated they did not recognize Ak Zhol as 
"opposition."  In response to Econoff's question as to whether they 
were cooperating with any other political parties, the NSDP cited 
Communists.  The Ak Zhol representative laughed when Econoff asked 
him about the ideological gaps between Ak Zhol and NSDP, calling 
 
ASTANA 00002222  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
this a "very western" question.  "Here," he said, "it's not about 
ideology; it's about personalities...  It's about competing 
ambitions and irreconcilable personality conflicts."  Even so, he 
acknowledged some differences of opinion between Ak Zhol and NSDP. 
"We are centrists, and we support the president," he remarked, 
pointing to a small photograph of Nazarbayev pinned above his desk. 
 
13. (SBU) A reporter with an independent local weekly newspaper, 
present at the meeting, talked about political pressures faced by 
the local media and the resulting self-censorship.  Tough 
requirements for television stations (which she described as an 80% 
local content requirement and a 50% Kazakh-language requirement) 
provide the authorities with leverage over the stations, since "no 
one complies."  The authorities also have leverage over newspapers, 
she continued, thanks to the registration requirements.  Any 
publication with more than 100 issues, she explained, requires 
registration; registration is also required when a newspaper changes 
its editor or shifts its focus.  (Note:  As far as we are aware, no 
paper has been denied re-registration since the requirement was 
imposed.  End note.)  The journalist added that since local 
newspapers lack a national profile, they are particularly 
vulnerable.  Threat of litigation or prosecution for libel and 
slander, she continued, is also a problem.  However, she noted, 
courts have been coming down on the side of the papers, fearing a 
possible "domino effect" of legal actions against the media. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
14. (SBU) Comment.  The Northern Kazakhstan Oblast (NKO) exemplifies 
the blurring of boundaries between the government and the Nur Otan. 
This institutionalization of the ruling party fuels skepticism on 
the part of the opposition in the government's resolve (a
nd ability) 
to conduct free and fair elections.  Also highly problematic is the 
"vertical of power" by which the Kazakhstani government operates 
(the president appoints the oblast akims; the oblast akims appoint 
the rayon akims).  Under these circumstances, Astana's stated call 
for free and fair elections may be affected by a regional official's 
desire to please his boss.  This may be particularly true in the 
NKO, whose akim won the 2005 "competition" among oblast akims to 
provide the president with the greatest support possible.  End 
comment. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2221, CAMPAIGNING IN MANGISTAU OBLAST: INCREASED FAIRNESS, BUT

WikiLeaks Link

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Discussing cables
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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2221 2007-08-14 08:37 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9586
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2221/01 2260837
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140837Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0378
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1805
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0231
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 002221 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV OSCE KZ
 
SUBJECT: CAMPAIGNING IN MANGISTAU OBLAST: INCREASED FAIRNESS, BUT 
NUR OTAN STILL DOMINATES 
 
REF: Astana 1906 
 
ASTANA 00002221  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: On August 8-10, Poloff and Pol FSN traveled to 
Aktau in Mangistau Oblast (western Kazakhstan) to meet with 
political party representatives and NGOs in advance of the August 18 
elections.  In general, the Aktau political scene reflects trends 
apparent throughout the country, with opposition parties facing some 
roadblocks in their campaign and fearing fraud on election day, 
while Nur Otan dominates advertising space and conducts the most 
active and organized campaign. Despite the roadblocks, the 
opposition acknowledged that the situation is better than in the two 
previous elections, and most interlocutors claimed that there was a 
high degree of public interest in the elections.  End summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
EMBASSY REACHES OUT TO AKTAU PARTIES, CIVIL SOCIETY 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
2. (SBU) On August 8-10, Poloff and Pol FSN traveled to the far west 
of Kazakhstan, to the city of Aktau on the Caspian Sea.  During the 
trip, Poloff met with representatives of Ak Zhol, the National 
Social Democratic Party (NSDP), and Nur Otan to discuss the progress 
of the campaign in the region.  In addition, Poloff discussed the 
campaign with representatives of the Republican Network of 
Independent Monitors, the Kazakhstan International Human Rights 
Bureau, a variety of NGOs, and a pastor from the Living Word 
Pentecostal Church. Poloff also arranged a meeting with a 
representative from the oblast akim's office, but the representative 
failed to appear for the meeting.  During his travels throughout the 
city, Poloff observed multiple Nur Otan billboards or billboards 
featuring President Nazarbayev, and numerous smaller Nur Otan signs 
on a wide variety of public places, including in the windows of some 
city buses. Poloff saw virtually no signs or advertisements from 
other parties. 
 
------- 
AK ZHOL 
------- 
 
3. (U) Poloff met with local Ak Zhol leader Agzam Zhumsakov in Ak 
Zhol's headquarters, a small office in a Soviet-era apartment 
building. Zhumsakov reported that Ak Zhol did very well in Mangistau 
Oblast in the 2004 parliamentary elections, and they were hoping to 
repeat the result this year.  He said that the local campaign has 
"slowed down" in recent days, after hosting visits from several of 
their national leaders.  He said the party expects one or two more 
of its national leaders to appear in Aktau before the election, and 
will spend some time campaigning in the regions and placing local 
media advertisements. 
 
4. (SBU) Zhumsakov and two or three fellow activists spent much of 
the conversation complaining about election law violations and 
unfair tactics that occurred during previous elections.  When asked 
about the conduct of the campaign during the current election, 
Zhumsakov said that the city has failed to respond to their request 
to place billboards in the city, essentially denying them the right 
to do so.  He also claimed that local authorities have been waging a 
"campaign of intimidation" for the last three months, collecting 
employee lists and pressuring employers to force their employees to 
vote for Nur Otan.  Zhumsakov reported that in a few cases local 
officials denied the party access to facilities for meetings.  He 
also predicted cheating on election day, and complained of a lack of 
opposition representatives on election commissions. (Reftel) 
 
5. (SBU) When pressed, Zhumsakov said that Ak Zhol has not had a 
problem thus far placing media advertisements, handing out campaign 
literature, or getting local television coverage.  (Note: All of Ak 
Zhol's campaign literature was printed in the Kazakh language only, 
though approximately 18% of the local population is ethnic Russian, 
and presumably does not speak Kazakh. End note.) He said that 
overall, the situation has improved somewhat from the 2004 and 2005 
campaigns, though he predicted a lot could still happen between now 
and election day.  Zhumsakov said that local citizens are well aware 
of the coming election, but that voters are tired of elections, as 
they just had a presidential election in December 2005.  He stated 
that citizens here generally do not trust the election process or 
expect elections to bring any real changes to their lives. 
(Comment: Overall, Poloff was not impressed by Ak Zhol's local 
operation; Zhumsakov and some of his fellow activists were far more 
interested in complaining about past violations and relatively minor 
violations this year, and did not appear to have a very robust 
campaign operation or concrete plans for the final seven days of the 
campaign.  End comment.) 
 
-------------------------------- 
NATIONAL SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY 
-------------------------------- 
 
ASTANA 00002221  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
 
6. (SBU) The local NSDP office was also housed in a small office in 
a Soviet-era apartment comple
x, not far from the Ak Zhol 
headquarters.  Local NSDP leader Adil Zhurmaly-uly echoed some of 
the same concerns as Zhumsakov, noting that the city has obstructed 
or delayed several of their requests for meeting facilities and for 
the three billboards they want to place within the city.  He also 
said that many sympathetic business owners refused to give them 
permission to place signs on their property, citing a fear of 
reprisals from local authorities.  In addition, Zhurmaly-uly 
expressed serious concerns about potential fraud on election day, 
reminding Poloff that opposition representatives received very few 
seats on the election commissions in Mangistau Oblast. (Reftel) He 
said that the local party intends to utilize the recently added 
provision to the election law which allows parties to send 
non-voting representatives to observe the work of election 
commissions on election day. 
 
7. (SBU) Zhurmaly-uly said that overall, it's been easier for his 
party to campaign this year than in previous years, and he credited 
this improvement to the success of the opposition's work over the 
last several years.  In the final seven days of the campaign, the 
party intends to send motorcades to villages to discuss the party's 
platform, and to set up booths at important population points to 
distribute literature. He said that his party will not be able to 
campaign as openly as Nur Otan, because many of their supporters are 
intimidated.  He predicted that without the intimidation factor, 
NSDP would be able to get 60-65% of the vote.  Finally, he noted 
that the party had little time to prepare for the campaign, because 
they were caught off guard by the early election date. (Comment: 
Though the local NSDP party appeared to have more concrete and 
effective plans for the remainder of the campaign than did Ak Zhol, 
the operation as a whole did not appear particularly energetic, and 
the campaign headquarters was filled with NSDP campaign materials, 
signs, and T-shirts that had not been distributed a week out from 
election day.  End comment.) 
 
-------- 
NUR OTAN 
-------- 
 
8. (U) Poloff met with local Nur Otan chief of staff Edil Jamburshin 
at Nur Otan's oblast party headquarters in a relatively modern 
office building.  Visible down the street was a brand-new, five 
story office building with the Nur Otan name prominently displayed; 
Jamburshin explained that the party was in the process of moving to 
the new facility.  Jamburshin presented in detail the party's 
campaign plan, a genuine grassroots effort which included 
mini-rallies in individual neighborhoods, door-to-door campaigning, 
telephone campaigning, and posting signs throughout the oblast.  He 
also said that the party conducted a number of larger receptions to 
introduce party candidates to the voters.  On August 12, the party 
is planning a disco party for local youth. He said that the party 
was committed to campaigning honestly and legally, because the party 
wants to win respect and does not want future criticism of its 
campaign efforts. 
 
9. (SBU) Jamburshin claimed that voter interest in the election is 
very high, though he admitted that turnout may be relatively low 
given that the election is taking place during vacation season. 
Based on his interactions with voters during the campaign, he 
believes that the quality of schools, roads, and other 
infrastructure are the most important issues on the minds of voters, 
followed by ecological issues and the lack of affordable housing. 
(Comment: Nur Otan's financial and institutional advantages were 
clearly apparent, as evidenced by the breadth and depth of their 
campaign effort.  In addition to these advantages, the party seemed 
far more knowledgeable about and focused on the mechanics of 
organizing a campaign and getting out the vote. End comment.) 
 
------------- 
CIVIL SOCIETY 
------------- 
 
10. (U) Poloff also met with a number of civil society interlocutors 
in order to discuss the election in Mangistau Oblast.  Aleksandr 
Mukha, director of the Mangistau Oblast branch of the Kazakhstan 
International Human Rights Bureau, agreed that most of the 
electorate was aware of the coming election, but many were still 
undecided.  He said that he observed a few violations, but said both 
the NSDP and Ak Zhol have been able to conduct rallies without 
serious hindrance.  He also recently traveled in several rural 
areas, and noted that appropriate campaign information was displayed 
at the rural polling stations he visited, though he noted that in 
general there was very little campaign activity by any party in the 
rural regions. 
But 
 
ASTANA 00002221  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
11. (SBU) Kirill Osin, director of the regional Republican Network 
of Independent Monitors branch, was heavily engaged in training 
election monitors and preparing for the election.  He shared the 
view that voters were well aware of the coming election, and felt 
that voter attitudes are generally positive. Osin himself was not 
optimistic that the vote counting process would be any better than 
in the past.  Osin also expressed disappointment in the weakness of 
the opposition parties, stating that they had failed to unite and 
present a stronger campaign against Nur Otan; instead, they were 
spending far too much time fighting and arguing with each other. 
(Note: The US government is providing financial support to the 
Network's election monitoring efforts.  End note.) 
 
12. (SBU) During the visit, the president of the local Civic 
Alliance NGO organized a roundtable discussion with several local 
NGOs, including NGOs devoted to environmental issues, disabled 
people, youth development, and rural business/farm development. 
(Note: The Civic Alliance is an NGO closely affiliated with the 
government, and seeks to organize local NGOs and seek government 
cooperation with civil society.  End note.) The NGO representatives 
consistently stated that the local population was very aware of the 
coming election, even in rural areas, and that people were actively 
comparing the various party platforms, etc. Only one NGO leader 
disagreed, saying that people were tired of elections, and didn't 
know the candidates or party platforms. Poloff met separately with 
Andrey Yatluk, the pastor of the Living Word Pentecostal Church, a 
registered 200-member church in Aktau.  Yatluk reported that his 
congregation was very engaged in the election, and that all of the 
church members intended to vote. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
13. (SBU) Comment: The opposition parties in Aktau are fighting an 
uphill battle against the formidable Nur Otan operation, and face a 
number of unfair or historic institutional disadvantages typical of 
the scene nationwide. These factors, combined with the popularity of 
President Nazarbayev, will play a role in the final result, even 
assuming a fair vote count.  However, the opposition's unimpressive 
local campaigns will also impact the result.  The principal 
op
position parties both acknowledged they have more freedom to 
campaign this year, but they do not appear to have taken full 
advantage of this improvement by conducting vigorous and energetic 
campaigns.  The reports of high voter interest in the elections are 
inconsistent with Post's observations elsewhere, and may reflect the 
fact that the interlocutors are active members of civil society and 
do not represent an average cross-section of local citizens. End 
comment.

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2214, KAZAKHSTAN DRUG AND CRIME REPORT

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #07ASTANA2214.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2214 2007-08-13 23:56 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9237
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHTA #2214/01 2252356
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 132356Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0372
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUCNCLS/SCA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002214 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL/AAE (BUHLER), INL/C, SCA/CEN (O'MARA) 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EFIN SNAR SOCI PREL PGOV KCOR KCRM AU KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN DRUG AND CRIME REPORT 
 
ASTANA 00002214  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. Summary:  According to the Agency of Statistics, law enforcement 
agencies documented 53,700 crimes during the first quarter of 2007. 
Economic crimes accounted for .07% (3,892) of the total.  These 
crimes included fraudulent property legalization, illegal business 
activity, and other financial crimes.  The government estimates 
damages and lost revenue of nearly 65 million USD.  Crimes related 
to illegal manufacturing, purchase, transit, and sale of drugs 
accounted for .04% (2,371) of the total.  The number of drug-related 
crimes has increased by 14.5% since last year.  End summary. 
 
------------------- 
HIGH-PROFILE CASES 
------------------- 
 
2. The highest profile criminal case of 2007 has been the 
investigation into the activities of Rakhat Aliyev, the 
ex-Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Austria and President Nazarbayev's 
former son-in-law.  Aliyev is being investigated in connection with 
the kidnapping of two senior managers of a Kazakhstani bank and is 
also being investigated by Austrian authorities for money 
laundering. 
 
3. Authorities opened an investigation after Austrian banks reported 
several suspicious deals involving large amounts of money via 
accounts opened in Aliyev's name.  According to financial documents, 
Aliyev established several accounts and registered them in both his 
name and the names of eight companies that he managed. Several deals 
involving large amounts of money were conducted via these accounts. 
Austrian authorities are continuing to track the origin of the 
money.  However, according to the Prosecutor's Office, current 
legislation is insufficient to charge Aliyev. 
 
4.  Kazakhstan requested extradition of its Ambassador on May 26, 
2007 after attempting to recall him as part of the investigation 
into the kidnapping of two senior Nurbank managers (Nurbank is one 
of the largest commercial banks and Aliyev was a major stakeholder). 
 Though there is no bilateral extradition agreement between Austria 
and Kazakhstan, some Austrian law enforcement authorities had 
expressed their support for extradition, but a federal court 
rejected the request on August 8 on the grounds that Aliyev would 
not receive a fair trial. 
 
5. Other high-ranking officials have been caught up in the Aliyev 
case.  Former head of Nurbank Abilmazhen Gilimov is under 
investigation for illegal business activities and abuse of power. 
Local press speculates that the chief of the Almaty Department of 
the Financial Police, General Vladimir Kurbatov is also under 
investigation for abuse of power and hindering the investigation of 
Aliyev. 
 
6. In another high-profile case, Deputy Head of the Tax Committee of 
the Ministry of Finance Sabit Kanatov is under investigation by the 
financial police for abuse of power and tax evasion. 
 
------------------ 
POLICE CORRUPTION 
------------------ 
 
7.  Major Arman Sapkin, former Deputy Head of the Criminal Police 
Section of Internal Affairs of Semey was sentenced to 10 years in a 
prison colony for attempting to force a woman to sell heroin. 
Sapkin approached Malina Vertrova, the daughter of a woman convicted 
of narco-trafficking, gave her 25 grams of heroin, and instructed 
her to sell it and pay him 35,000 tenge (290 USD).  Vertrova 
destroyed the heroin and reported the incident to the Committee for 
National Security (KNB).  The KNB conducted an undercover operation 
using marked money and arrested Sapkin. 
 
8.  The Internal Affairs Department in the Pavlodar region has 
opened an investigation in the disappearance of nearly 107 grams of 
heroin.  While examining evidence, an inspection team of police and 
prosecutors discovered that the heroin, seized in 1991, had been 
substituted with a mixture of salt and baking soda.  The authorities 
have reportedly initiated a criminal case against police officers. 
 
9.  In an attempt to stop seized drugs from being resold, the 
Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) is submitting draft amendments to 
the law to allow for the destruction of seized drugs.  According to 
Maratkali Nukenov, Chairman of MVD Committee on Drug Trafficking, 
there are currently 25 tons of drugs held as evidence.  The draft 
amendment would allow for the destruction of most of the evidence 
with only a sample kept for expert examination. 
 
---------------------- 
GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES 
---------------------- 
 
10.  On July 21, the Chairman of the Committee on Combating Drugs 
appealed to nightclub managers to cooperate in the fight against 
drug trafficking.  Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding 
 
ASTANA 00002214  002.
2 OF 002 
 
 
and Cooperation.  The signing took place as part of the "Astana - 
Drug Free City" program.  The Chairman of the Committee discussed 
cooperation in the fight against drug addiction with the owners of 
nightclubs.  MVD provided recommendations on drug profiling to 
security services of the night clubs and pledged to provide further 
training.  This cooperation between the GOK and nightclub owners 
follows a series of raids on nightclubs in September 2006 and the 
threat of closures of nightclubs linked to drug sales.  The most 
recent raids were conducted in July 2007. 
 
11.  Kazakhstan has officially registered 55,000 drug addicts. 
However, according to experts, there are actually more than 200,000 
addicts, which is equal to 1.7% of the population of the country. 
According to Alexander Katkov, Director of the National Scientific 
and Practical Center of Medical and Social Problems of Drug 
Addiction, drug addicts do not seek help because the law requires 
that information be submitted to law enforcement agencies.  Katkov's 
center has developed and proposed to the GOK a national and regional 
program on combating drug addiction.  The programs will focus on 
effective drug addiction prevention, including a focus on teenagers 
and children, and opening more centers for treatment of drug 
addicts. 
 
12.  To obstruct drug trafficking to Astana and into Russia, the 
Department of Internal Affairs of Karagandinskaya in central 
Kazakhstan, opened three fixed checkpoints in Karaganda, Temirtau, 
and Osakarovka.  The representatives of the KNB, Financial Police, 
Special Units, and Department of Internal Affairs will actively 
participate in the operation of these posts.  This measure aims to 
disrupt the drug trafficking routes from the south through Karaganda 
to the north and Russia. 
 
13. The draft law on combating money-laundering and terrorist 
financing has been stalled in Parliament since October 2005, because 
of the need to conclude the property legalization program.  On 
August 1, GOK concluded the legalization program and can now begin 
work on adoption of the new law. 
 
------------------- 
DRUG INTERDICTION 
------------------- 
 
14.  On July 12, officers of the Kyzylorda Department of the KNB, 
jointly with the MVD, detected and destroyed a marijuana plantation 
near the Berdykul artesian well.  They destroyed 7,014 marijuana 
plants which would have weighed from 2,500 to 3,000 kilograms upon 
maturing. 
 
15.  In March, Mangystau Department of the KNB arrested three 
sisters and their husbands involved in trafficking heroin from 
Uzbekistan.  As a result of operation, 1.3 kilos of heroin was 
seized with a street value of 27 million tenge (approximately 
219,000 USD).  In August, the Zhanaozen city court sentenced the 
family members to 14-15 years in prison. 
 
16. On June 26, MVD special units in joint operations with law 
enforcement agencies from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and 
Russia conducted 10 operations to disrupt established drug routes 
that had been in existence since the beginning of the year. 
 
17. On July 23, Kazakhstani MVD and the Russian Federal Service on 
Control of Drug Trafficking (FSKN) signed a bilateral agreement on 
cooperation for combating drugs, psychotropic substances, and 
precursors.  In accordance with this agreement, the two will 
exchange information and conduct joint interdiction operations.  The 
agreement also includes a provision for assistance in the efforts of 
combating money laundering as a result of drug trade. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2201, KAZAKHSTAN DIPS ITS TOE IN ETHANOL

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2201 2007-08-13 03:25 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO8379
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #2201/01 2250325
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130325Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0357
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0229
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002201 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN - O'MARA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON ETRD EINV EIND ENRG PGOV KTDB KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN DIPS ITS TOE IN ETHANOL 
 
ASTANA 00002201  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
1. (SBU) Summary.  The recently built ethanol plant in North 
Kazakhstan Oblast is touted by regional officials and company 
executives as the first ethanol production facility in all of the 
CIS.  Officially opened in September 2006 (with President Nazarbayev 
pressing the "start" button to great fanfare), the plant is now 
planning to make its first export shipment, most likely to Finland. 
The facility's owner, the Almaty-based BIOHIM, is already eyeing 
constructing more ethanol plants in Kazakhstan and considering 
production of biodiesel as well.  The company, the recipient of $60 
million in state financing, enjoys government support and is looking 
forward to the expected passage of legislation it helped write that 
will introduce in Kazakhstan a minimum ethanol use requirement.  End 
Summary. 
 
The Business Model 
------------------ 
 
2. (SBU) Kazakhstan's first bioethanol plant is located in Tayynsha 
(pop. 13,000), the official center of the overwhelmingly 
agricultural Tayynsha Rayon of the North Kazakhstan Oblast. 
Anatoliy Makovskiy, the rayon's akim for ten years (since the 
rayon's establishment following a redrawing of official maps), told 
visiting Econoff that Tayynsha's biggest draws for BIOHIM were 
abundance of high-quality wheat, the proximity of a major railroad 
line, and "cheap" water.  Makovskiy spoke of the BIOHIM plant being 
at the center of a "production chain:" the locally grown wheat is 
converted into ethanol and useful byproducts, with some of the 
latter being used as feedstock for locally raised cattle.  "Basco," 
a Kazakhstani company with a stake in BIOHIM, is currently building 
in Tayynsha a cattle farm and a meat processing plant.  The akim 
proudly declared to Econoff that his rayon is facing labor shortages 
even among unskilled workers. 
 
3. (SBU) According to Yermek Berdinov, the BIOHIM plant's director, 
sales of byproducts are a critical aspect of the operation, which 
cannot be profitable solely by selling ethanol.  Berdinov estimated 
that for each dollar of revenue, 70 cents would derive from ethanol 
and 30 cents from the useful byproducts.  These byproducts, he said, 
include gluten, starch, and carbon dioxide.  The economic necessity 
to produce the byproducts, Berdinov explained, results in a highly 
complex production process.  Thus, while BIOHIM imported all its 
technology from Europe, the plant's production system is uniquely 
designed to take advantage of the high quality of local wheat that 
enables extraction of the byproducts in addition to ethanol. 
Production, Berdinov noted, is highly automated; the facility, which 
operates around the clock, employs a relatively modest 300 or so 
people.  During the mid-day tour, the buzzing plant appeared quite 
deserted. 
 
4. (SBU) The company plans to export its ethanol production to 
Europe, most likely to Finland, by rail.  Berdinov approximated that 
transportation costs would constitute roughly 1/5 of ethanol's price 
in Europe.  However, BIOHIM is now looking forward to selling its 
ethanol domestically as well.  Berdinov expects adoption of a law 
(that he and another BIOHIM executive helped draft), which will 
introduce mandatory use of ethanol.  The content requirement will 
start at 5% and come into force in 2008.  Berdinov remarked that 
Kazakhstani gasoline is currently of very low quality, precluding 
the possibility of mixing it with ethanol.  This, he noted, will 
change with the new law, which will introduce European quality 
standards. 
 
5. (SBU) BIOHIM, Berdinov said, is eyeing expansion.  A "strong 
interest" is biodiesel, but the company is also preparing plans for 
construction of another, larger ethanol plant.  The "desired plant 
size" from the economic perspective, Berdinov explained, calls for a 
150,000 ton capacity.  The first plant, he said, provides 57,000 
tons. 
 
The Government Takes (Strong) Interest 
-------------------------------------- 
 
6. (SBU) Financing for BIOHIM's first plant, Berdinov said, was 
provided by a number of financial institutions, including German, 
Finnish, Russian, and Chinese banks.  What distinguishes the 
project, however, is the $60 million loan the company received from 
the Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK, the largest institution of 
the government-owned "Kazyna" Sustainable Development Fund), the 
DBK's largest single loan to date.  Berdinov acknowledged that the 
terms of the DBK loan were no better than those offered by 
commercial institutions.  What the DBK's involvement provides, he 
said, is "the government support." 
 
7. (SBU) In addition to branding the BIOHIM facility "a breakthrough 
project," a key political buzzword these days, the government is 
pl
anning to launch its own ethanol production plants.  These would 
be run by KazAgro, a recently created state holding company for the 
government's agricultural assets.  With KazAgro's planned entry, the 
 
ASTANA 00002201  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
Kazakhstani ethanol industry appears to be headed for public-private 
competition.  Berdinov predicted an "ethanol boom" in Kazakhstan. 
 
8. (SBU) There is still more the government needs to do to make 
ethanol economically viable.  Berdinov told Econoff that BIOHIM is 
currently stymied by a statutory failure to recognize ethanol as a 
form of fuel.  According to press reports, BIOHIM is unable to 
export its ethanol because CIS countries uniformly classify all 
ethanol as a "food product," imposing on it an exorbitant excise 
tax, which results in a sixteen-fold increase in its cost.  Alikhan 
Smailov, KazAgro chairman, is quoted by the press as stating that 
the solution lies in having a CIS commission task member states to 
change their tariff schedules accordingly.  He expects this issue to 
be resolved soon. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
9. (SBU) Comment.  The BIOHIM ethanol plant, in some ways, 
epitomizes the government's stated ambition to diversify the economy 
away from the extractive sector and toward high value-added, 
high-tech, export-oriented industries.  Moreover, through its 
linkages with the agricultural sector (by using wheat as input and 
marketing ethanol byproducts as feedstock), the plant significantly 
stimulates employment and provides a strong boost to an area, which 
- like much of rural Kazakhstan - had been mostly untouched by the 
country's economic boom.  At the same time, BIOHIM's decision to 
rely on government financing in order to ensure political support, 
along with its success in contributing to the passage of favorable 
legislation, highlights the importance of political muscle in 
navigating Kazakhstan's investment waters.  End Comment. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2192, KAZAKHSTANI MEDIA DEVELOPMENTS MAY-JULY 2007

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2192 2007-08-12 23:56 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO8260
RR RUEHAST
DE RUEHTA #2192/01 2242356
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 122356Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0347
INFO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1803
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2228

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002192 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, SCA/CEN (MO'MARA), SCA/PPD (LHICKOCK), DRL/PHD 
(CKUCHTA-HELBLING) 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KPAO KDEM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTANI MEDIA DEVELOPMENTS MAY-JULY 2007 
 
Ref:  Astana 918 
 
1.  (SBU) Summary of media developments: 
--As reported in local media, Bulat Utermuratov, head of management 
affairs in Kazakhstan's presidential administration, and Armanzhan 
Baitasov, Channel 31 president, each plan to sell 25 percent of 
Channel 31, Kazakhstan's most objective television station, to the 
commercial entertainment network Russian STS.  Two of the station's 
popular news analysis programs were discontinued just before the 
advent of campaigning for the August 18 Kazakhstani parliamentary 
elections, and the station will not broadcast analytical news 
programs again until September. 
--On June 19, the progressive Vremya newspaper sued Minister of 
Information and Culture Yermukhament Yertysbayev for his derogatory 
comments about Vremya journalists (see reftel).  The court threw out 
the lawsuit (which Vremya is appealing) but partially granted a 
countersuit filed by the minister for moral damages he attributed to 
a Vremya article criticizing him. 
--On May 24, KTK TV's broadcasts and Karavan weekly newspaper were 
suspended for alleged violations of a media law and release of 
sensitive information regarding a criminal case thought to have 
involved the media's owner, Rakhat Aliyev.  Broadcasting resumed on 
June 4.  On June 6, former presidential administration official 
Arman Shurayev confirmed his appointment as the new head of the KTK 
TV Company. 
 
Russian Company Buys Channel 31 
------------------------------- 
 
2.  (SBU) On July 19, the opposition newspaper Vzglyad reported 
rumors that Bulat Utermuratov, head of management affairs in 
Kazakhstan's presidential administrations, owned a large share of 
the media company that owns centrist television state Channel 31 and 
planned to sell at least part of his holdings to Russian STS, a huge 
commercial entertainment network.  Utermuratov and Channel 31 
President Armanzhan Baitasov, according to sources at Channel 31, 
will each sell 25 percent of the company to Russian STS.  Sources 
stated that it was unclear whether the company's other media 
outlets, including the newspaper Megapolys, would be affected by the 
sale. 
 
3.  (SBU) Vzglyad reported that the sale might be connected to the 
discontinuation of popular news analysis programs "Tochki nad I" 
(Dotting the "I") and "Tsentr Vnimaniya" (Center of Attention), 
which were removed from Channel 31's program schedule just before 
the advent of campaigning for the August 18 parliamentary elections. 
 However, Channel 31 sources have indicated that the sale of Channel 
31, the most objective of Kazakhstani broadcasters, appears to be 
purely a business transaction, not a politically motivated event. 
 
4.  (SBU) Sources at Channel 31 said that the sale was official, and 
that final negotations would take place in September. The objective 
and news-oriented station will become more focused on entertainment, 
said Channel 31 sources, reflecting the format of the Russian 
channel that will own 50 percent of the station.  Although "Tochki 
nad I" and "Tsentr Vnimaniya" will not be put back on the air, 
sources noted, producers are currently developing a new format and 
content for news and analysis programs and plan to begin 
broadcasting in September. 
 
Newspaper Vremya Takes Minister to Court 
----------------------------------------- 
 
5.  (U) The progressive newspaper Vremya on July 24 appealed an 
Astana district court ruling that threw out its lawsuit against the 
minister of information and culture.  Vremya, Kazakhstan's most 
popular nationwide newspaper, filed its lawsuit on June 19, alleging 
defamation as a result of the minister's remarks characterizing the 
paper's reporters as "scoundrels, frauds, and telekillers" and 
demanded a public apology.  Minister Yertysbayev threatened to file 
a countersuit unless Vremya dropped its case and agreed to reach a 
settlement, which enraged Vremya, leading it to increase its demands 
for damages to 2 million tenge ($16,528).  The court threw out 
Vremya's lawsuit, ruling Minister Yertysbayev's statement as "an 
expression of his subjective and ethical opinion" and not damaging 
to the reporters' reputations. 
 
Minister Files Defamation Countersuit 
------------------------------------- 
 
6.  (U) Minister Yertysbayev filed his countersuit on June 26, 
demanding 5 million tenge ($41,322) for moral damages he attributed 
to a Vremya article criticizing him for not paying enough attention 
to culture, specifically, the budgetary problems of the Almaty 
Ballet School.  The court ordered Vremya and its editor-in-chief to 
each pay the minister 5,000 tenge ($41).  Commenting on his court 
 
ASTANA 00002192  002 OF 002 
 
 
victory, Yertysbayev stated in Liter newspaper that it does not 
really matter who won, as the more important thing is the court 
sentencing the newspaper to pay only 10,000 tenge because this 
precedent can now be
 used to stop multimillion tenge claims against 
Kazakhstani mass media (like the one Mr. Yertysbayev filed). 
 
Fate of Rakhat Aliyev's KTK TV and Karavan Newspaper 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
7.  (U) On May 24, the day after police ordered the investigation of 
President Nazarbayev's son-in-law and Ambassador to Austria Rakhat 
Aliyev for the January 2007 kidnapping of two executives of Nurbank, 
a bank owned by Aliyev, an Almaty court suspended the weekly tabloid 
Karavan and television channel KTK, also owned by Aliyev. 
 
8.  (U) Although the court did not explicitly state its reasons for 
suspending the media, among the most popular in Kazakhstan, 
Interfax-Kazakhstan reported that on May 22, the Almaty prosecutor's 
office warned KTK not to violate a media law requiring equal air 
time for Russian and Kazakh language programming and particularly 
not to "report details of the investigation into Nurbank-related 
criminal cases without the investigator's explicit permission." 
Earlier in May, Karavan had published a series of articles 
criticizing Interior Affairs Minister Baurzhan Mukhamedzhanov and 
Almaty Mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov for "kidnapping" KTK employees 
who were taken in for questioning regarding the actual kidnapping of 
the Nurbank executives.  The newspaper also accused the officials of 
"politicizing" the Nurbank investigation, whereas the interior 
ministry claimed the men taken in for questioning were former or 
current employees of the special services and not listed in KTK 
personnel records. 
 
9.  (U) The Kazakhstan Today news agency, also owned by Aliyev, 
reported on May 24 that the court did impose sanctions on KTK and 
Karavan for allegedly violating the language law. 
 
10.  (U) KTK TV resumed broadcasting on June 4.  In a highly 
publicized nationwide web chat on June 5, President Nazarbayev 
remarked that the suspension of KTK and Karavan was "exclusively 
related to the legal sphere" and that they "made up for the legal 
violations they committed."  On June 6, the interior ministry stated 
that Aliyev "was released on a one-million Euro bail shortly after 
being detained by Austrian police." 
 
11.  (U) Also on June 6, former presidential administration official 
Arman Shurayev confirmed his appointment as the new head of the KTK 
TV company.  Shurayev, who is widely respected by media 
professionals regardless of their political affiliation, previously 
worked as the chief inspector of the social and political department 
in Kazakhstan's presidential administration.  He also led the press 
office of President Nazarbayev's campaign during the 2005 
presidential election. 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2178, KAZAKHSTAN: STRUCTURE OF THE BORDER GUARD SERVICE

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #07ASTANA2178.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2178 2007-08-09 07:40 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO5646
PP RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHTA #2178/01 2210740
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 090740Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0330
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUCNCLS/SCA COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ5/
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ5
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/APSA-CA
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/GSA-CN
RHMFIUU/DTRA CT WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 002178 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN (OMARA), INL/AAE (BUHLER), ISN/ECC (HARTSHORNE), 
SCA/RA (CUMMINGS), CENTCOM FOR MALCOM AND ROESNER, DHS FOR CBP - 
GLYNCO GEORGIA, DTRA FOR SULLIVAN 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR PGOV KCRM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: STRUCTURE OF THE BORDER GUARD SERVICE 
 
ASTANA 00002178  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
--------- 
OVERVIEW 
--------- 
 
1. (SBU)  Post continues to work with the Border Guard Service 
through programs to combat narcotics, terrorism, weapons of mass 
destruction, and trafficking in persons.  Programs are implemented 
by Department of State International Narcotics and Law Enforcement 
Office (INL) and Export Control and Border Security Office (EXBS), 
the Department of Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and 
CENTCOM's Office of Military Cooperation (OMC).  The Defense 
Attach's office is an active participant in program development and 
implementation.  Close coordination among embassy offices is 
maintained through monthly embassy Security Assistance Working Group 
meetings chaired by the Deputy Chief of Mission.  The programs have 
enhanced mission capacity on the land, sea, and river borders 
through the provision of equipment and training to maritime border 
guards, improvement of checkpoint infrastructure and personnel 
training, establishment of new training centers and improvement of 
existing centers, and curriculum reform.  In the U.S., Kazakhstani 
border guards have been trained in the DHS Customs and Border 
Protection Academy in Glynco, Georgia, which has created a 
professional relationship between the U.S. Border Patrol and the 
Border Guard Service of Kazakhstan.  Post provides the following 
information as a reference for addressees interested in working with 
the Border Guard Service. 
 
----------------------------------- 
BORDER GUARD MISSION AND STAFFING 
----------------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU)  The 4,700 male and female officers of the Border Guard 
Service are charged with protecting the land, sea, and river borders 
of Kazakhstan, interdicting illegal goods and people attempting to 
cross the border, facilitating legitimate transit of people and 
commerce through authorized checkpoints, and repelling invading 
troops.  The Border Guards also protect Kazakhstan's economic and 
environmental interests as they relate to the borders of the 
country.  The Border Guard Service cooperates with the regional 
departments of the Committee for National Security, the Ministry of 
Internal Affairs, and other security and law enforcement agencies. 
Border Guard Officers are assisted by contractors hired locally at 
each post, the majority working in passport control. 
 
------------------------- 
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE 
------------------------- 
 
3. (SBU)  The Border Guard Service is within the Committee for 
National Security.  Bolat Seitkazynovich Zakiyev, Deputy Chairman of 
the Committee for National Security, is the Director of the service. 
 He was appointed to the position in July 1999.  Deputy Director of 
the Border Guard Service is Khussain Imangaliyevich Berkaliyev. 
 
4. (SBU) The Border Guard Service is headquartered in Astana and has 
four regional border control departments: 
 
a)  Ontustik in Southern Kazakhstan Oblast oversees the Kazakhstani- 
Uzbekistani border.  Headquarters are in Shymkent. 
 
b)  Soltustik in Northern Kazkahstan Oblast oversees the Kazakhstani 
Russian border.  Headquarters are in Ust-Kamenogorsk. 
 
c)  Batys in Mangystau Oblast oversees the Caspian Sea and the 
Russian border in Uralsk oblast.  Headquarters are in Aktau. 
 
d)  Shygys in Eastern Kazkahstan Oblast oversees the 
Kazakhstani-Chinese and Kazakhstani-Kyrgyzstani borders. 
Headquarters are in Almaty. 
 
Each of the regional border control departments is comprised of 
border guard detachments (pogranichnyi otryad or the short form - 
pogranotryad) which are responsible for a specified portion of the 
border, usually 40-100 kilometers.  Within the area of 
responsibility each detachment is responsible for patrolling the 
green border and manning the crossing points (punkt propuska). 
Green border areas are patrolled from frontier stations 
(pogranichanya zastava).  Officers at frontier stations patrol by 
 
ASTANA 00002178  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
vehicle, horse, and on foot.  They communicate via radio and use 
night vision goggles (where available) to locate people illegally 
crossing the border.  Note: INL and EXBS have provided the Border 
Guards with modular buildings to use as offices, communications and 
inspection equipment, and vehicles for patrol and personnel 
transport.  End note. 
 
5. (SBU)  There are more than 160 border crossing points.  One 
hundred twelve have been officially designated by the government and 
approximately 50 additional posts are pending 
delimitation/demarcation of the border.  Of the 112 official 
crossing poi
nts, only 95 are operational.  The remainder have been 
closed primarily because of Uzbekistan's closure of its border with 
Kazakhstan at some locations. 
 
--------------- 
SPECIAL UNITS 
--------------- 
 
6. (SBU)   The Border Guards have fixed and rotary wing aviation 
assets in each of the four regional border control departments. 
They have a total of about twenty MI-8 helicopters and have plans to 
refurbish old helicopters in order to increase this number.  Three 
helicopters are undergoing capital repair at Aircraft Plant #405 in 
Almaty at any given time.  Eight MI-8 helicopters and two airplanes 
have been seen in Atyrau and Aktau.  Note:  Using CENTCOM 
counter-narcotics funding, OMC is upgrading three MI-8 helicopters 
which will be located in Aktau to provide night vision and forward 
looking infrared capability (FLIR) for use in patrolling the 
southwest desert border and Caspian coast line.  End note. 
 
7. (SBU)  The Maritime Division of the Border Guards is 
headquartered in Astana.  The division also has offices in Aktau and 
Atyrau and a large maritime base in Bautino on the Caspian Sea. 
According to press reports in June 2005, a Berkut-6 boat, produced 
at the Zenit factory in Uralsk, was launched on the Caspian Sea.  A 
200-ton ship is also under development.  The Berkut provides greater 
speed and navigation capability to interdict traffickers and 
poachers.  There are approximately 10 boats in Bautino, including 
three SAFE boats donated in May 2006 by EXBS.  In addition, a Sea 
Ark was donated in 1996 and is located in Bautino.  There are also 
believed to be two boats in Atyrau.  Finally, the Maritime Border 
Guards patrol the Ural River with a small boat. 
 
8. (SBU)  The Border Guard Structure includes an intelligence 
office, an internal security office to combat corruption, and a 
quartermaster corps. 
 
 
 
--------- 
TRAINING 
--------- 
 
9. (SBU)   The primary training facility for Border Guard Officers 
is the Military Institute located in Almaty.  It is a four-year 
training academy for agents of the Committee for National Security 
and officers of the Border Guard Service.  Post had learned that the 
Military Institute will relocate to Astana in 2008, although the 
Head of the Institute told INL Officer that Border Guard training 
would remain in Almaty.  The cadets are trained in a full range of 
subjects and at the conclusion are commissioned as border guard 
officers and receive the equivalent of a bachelor's degree. 
Although assignments vary upon graduation, reportedly depending on 
any particular graduate's political connections or financial 
capabilities, new officers are assigned to posts on the border and 
slowly work up through the ranks.  Officers rotate from region to 
region approximately every three years and rarely will serve in the 
border district where they were born. 
 
10. (SBU)  The primary training facility for maritime officers is 
the Ministry of Defense's Naval Institute located in Aktau.  The 
institute in Aktau is a military training academy for naval 
officers.  After commissioning, officers serve either in the Navy or 
in the Maritime Border Guard. 
 
11. (SBU)  In high-visibility posts such as Almaty or Astana border 
guard officers will staff the passport control booths while in other 
 
ASTANA 00002178  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
posts, particularly non-international posts in the heavily-populated 
south, local residents will be hired as contractors to check 
identity cards and passports.  Contractors receive on-the-job 
training from border guard officers or other contractors. 
Contractors who show skill and interest may be sent to a passport 
control training facility in Almaty for more advanced, formal 
instruction.  (Note: INL established a regional training center in 
Saryagash, on the Kazakhstani-Uzbekistani border, and expects to 
establish another in the northeast near the Russian and Chinese 
borders in the coming year.  End note.)  The level of knowledge and 
professionalism of the contractors is uneven at best.  For example, 
training sessions sponsored by INL using professional educators from 
the Military Institute were attended by contractors who could not 
properly identify an expired Uzbekistani identity card. 
 
 
ORDWAY

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2113, KAZAKHSTAN: G/TIP ACTION PLAN SEEN AS A (MOSTLY) GOOD

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2113 2007-08-05 11:31 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1636
OO RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHTA #2113 2171131
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 051131Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0277
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUCNCLS/SCA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ASTANA 002113 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SCA/CEN (O'MARA), SCA/RA (PLLEIDERER), G/TIP (FARAJ), INL/AAE 
(BUHLER) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KCRIM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: G/TIP ACTION PLAN SEEN AS A (MOSTLY) GOOD 
ROADMAP 
 
REF: STATE 99409 
 
1.  (SBU) On July 26 INL Officer delivered the TIP Action Plan 
demarche providing recommendations for increasing Kazakhstan's 
conviction and sentencing of traffickers, and improving assistance 
to victims to Ministry of Justice Office Director Elvira 
Abilkhasimovna Azimova.  INL Officer provided a copy of the action 
plan as a non-paper. 
 
2.  Azimova responded positively, actively proposing ways that 
Kazakhstan could cooperate with the embassy to address the action 
points provided in reftel.  To prepare for the interim report later 
this year she agreed to work more closely with embassy to provide 
complete and accurate data but noted that conviction statistics were 
somewhat cyclic, not following an annual calendar.  Azimova 
cautioned however that improving the conviction rate through 
ministerial involvement in court cases was an abrogation of the 
status of the independent judiciary and would not happen.  She 
offered that the government of Kazakhstan was actively looking for a 
tested mechanism to establish and implement grants to NGO to create 
a mechanism to provide assistance to victims.  INL will follow up on 
this request which will improve assistance to victims of 
trafficking. 
 
3.  (SBU) Azimova said Kazakhstan did consider trafficking a serious 
crime and was attacking this issue, pointing to the collaborative 
work between the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the embassy on 
training police officers.  INL Officer agreed that much action had 
been undertaken and while prosecutions had increased other results, 
i.e. convictions and sentences to prison seemed meager. Furthermore, 
while training police is a necessary step it is not sufficient and 
training of procurators and judges is critical to ensuring that 
guilty traffickers were properly tried, convicted, and sentenced. 
 
4.  (SBU) Azimova cautioned that the training would not guarantee 
additional convictions of traffickers.  Kazakhstan had an 
independent judiciary and the government would not attempt to 
influence court proceedings to achieve more convictions.  INL 
Officer rejoined that training for procurators and judges was not an 
attempt to influence cases but to improve the professional capacity 
of court officers to try and adjudicate TIP crimes. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2101, EXBS: KAZAKHSTAN ADVISOR’S MONTHLY REPORTING CABLE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2101 2007-08-03 08:50 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0447
RR RUEHAST RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #2101/01 2150850
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030850Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0262
RUEAORC/US CUSTOMS SERVICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RULSJGA/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0054
RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC
RUCQAAA/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0436
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 8084
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 7990
RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU 0012
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2204
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7214
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 002101 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC PVANSON, ACHURCH, JHARTSHORN 
DEPT FOR ISN/ECC-AMT LSPRINGER 
DEPT FOR EUR/ACE RBUCK 
DEPT FOR SCA/RA JSCHLOSSER 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN M. O'MARA 
CBP/INA FOR CDONOFRIO AND RWATT 
USDOE/NNSA CWALKER, TPERRY AND EDESCHLER 
DOC FOR DCREED AND GPETERSEN-BEARD 
USCG FOR BGOLDEN 
AMEMBASSY BERLIN FOR CUSTOMS ATTACHE 
AMEMBASSY TASHKENT, BISHKEK, BAKU, DUSHANBE AND ASHGABAT FOR EXBS 
ADVISORS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ETTC MNUC PARM PREL KSTC KNNP KZ
SUBJECT:  EXBS: KAZAKHSTAN ADVISOR'S MONTHLY REPORTING CABLE 
(MAY-JUNE 2007) 
 
I. BROAD ITEMS OF INTEREST TO ADVISORS AND AGENCY MANAGERS: 
 
      1. TDY EXBS Jim Kelly departed post on June 21. 
 
     2. Small Boat Operations Course in Aktau, July 9-20. The EXBS 
office has received a cable requesting our cooperation and 
assistance in preparing for an advance Safe Boat Operations Course 
for Kazakhstan Maritime Border Guards in Aktau, Kazakhstan. EXBS 
sent a CC Cable for the U.S. Coast Guard team and a Diplomatic Note 
requesting Kazakhstan Maritime Border Guards' participation. 
 
 3. Administrative Enforcement Training (AE). The Department of 
Commerce will send one U.S. export control technical specialist to 
Kazakhstan to assist the Customs Control Committee to conduct an 
Administrative Enforcement Workshop for customs officials in Almaty 
on July 11-12. EXBS sent the CC Cable for a U.S. technical 
specialist and a Diplomatic Note requesting Kazakhstan Customs' 
participation. 
 
     4. ISN/ECC Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) 
Program Manager for Central Asia Jeff Hartshorn visited Kazakhstan 
for a program review and consultations with Embassy and GOK 
officials from June 25 to June 29. 
 
 
II. COMPLETED ACTIONS FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD 
 
A. SITE ASSESSMENTS AND MEETINGS CONDUCTED 
 
 1. May 14-18 - TDY Advisor Kevin Cummings and Kazakhstan EXBS 
Program Manager Gulnara Abildaeva traveled to the Dostyk Customs 
Port and the Bakhty Border Crossing on the Kazakhstan-China border. 
The EXBS team accompanied the representative from the Nuclear 
Technology Safety Center (NTSC) to Dostyk and Bakhty to conduct 
Border Site Assessments.  As part of the assessment process, the 
EXBS team inspected all equipment donated by EXBS and reviewed port 
facilities, operations and procedures. The Border Guards do the 
majority of searches on the passenger trains and on the external 
area of all cargo trains- a function normally performed by customs 
in the United States and in most other countries. Both the Border 
Guards and Customs at Dostyk would like a site visit to a US rail 
entry port to understand the US inspection process at international 
rail facilities. Those assessment reports have been submitted to 
INS/ECC Country Lead Jeffrey Hartshorn. 
 
      2. Department of Energy Software Upgrades. May 14-25 - A 
representative of NTSC upgraded the software for the portable X-ray 
Florescence (XRF) metal analyzers provided to the Dostyk, Bakhty and 
Maikapchagai customs posts. 
 
 
      3. June 14-15 - TDY Advisor Jim Kelly and EXBS Program 
Assistant Oxana Limareva performed an assessment of the status and 
capabilities of the Kazakhstan Border Guards and Customs at the 
border posts of Zhana-Zhol and Kyzyl-Zhar along the Kazakh-Russian 
border.  During the assessment the EXBS team also surveyed equipment 
donated to the Government of Kazakhstan under the Export Control and 
Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) program, observed how 
Kazakhstan Customs and Border Guards officers conduct inspections of 
commercial trucks, and examined the commodities and vehicles 
crossing the border in both directions. 
 
      4. On June 19, the Ambassador, TDY EXBS Advisor, EXBS Program 
Manager and Chief of USAID Astana office attended a meeting with the 
 
ASTANA 00002101  002 OF 003 
 
 
Chairman of the Customs Control Committee, General Karbuzov. Customs 
procedures and Volunteer Visitor Programs were discussed. 
 
      5. During his June 25-29 trip to Kazakhstan, EXBS Program 
Manager for Central Asia Jeff Hartshorn attended country team and 
met with the Ambassador, DCM, Pol/Econ, INL, DTRO and USAID 
Officers. He also met in Astana with the Kazakhstan Border Guards, 
Customs and Ministry of Industry and Trade officials to discuss what 
Kazakhstan border security agencies need to improve their 
capabilities to prevent WMD. General Berkaliyev, first deputy 
director of the Border Guards Service stated that he looks forward &#x000A
;to increased cooperation with the United States in the fight illegal 
activity. On June 29 Jeff Hartshorn with INL Staff and the Second 
Line of Defense (SLD team) visited the Customs K-9 Training Center 
in Almaty. 
 
B.  TRAINING DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD 
 
 1. Industry-Government Relations Forum. TDY EXBS Advisor Jim Kelly 
and Kazakhstan EXBS Program Manager Gulnara Abildaeva attended the 
Industry-Government Relations Forum (IGR) on June 7-8 in Almaty. 
During the discussions, representatives from the Prime Minister's 
office and the Ministry of Industry and Trade expressed a desire to 
obtain (in some cases further) assistance in the following areas: 
 
      a) Internal Control Programs; 
      b) Product Identification Training; 
      c) Administrative Enforcement Training; 
      d) Industry Partnerships; 
      e) enhancing/creating websites; and 
      f) acquiring information on export control systems in other 
countries. 
 
During general discussions, government officials indicated that they 
could also use assistance in modernizing customs laws and procedures 
and automating their export license information 
 
 
C. EQUIPMENT DELIVERED DURING THE REPORTING PERIOD 
 
      1. No equipment delivered during this reporting period. 
 
D. IMMINENT TRAINING OR EQUIPMENT STATUS UPDATE 
 
 1. Task Order 79 Donation. Task Order 79 for the EXBS donation of 
Ural Trucks and Border Guard Shelters is nearing completion. EXBS 
was notified by Kazakhstan Border Guards that eleven URAL trucks had 
arrived at their final destination. Definite delivery dates for the 
shelters have not yet been determined. 
 
 2. Preliminary Department of Energy Second Line of Defense 
(DOE/SLD) site survey. The Second Line of Defense (SLD) program team 
will develop an installation and integration plan for the placement 
of radiation detection equipment and portal monitors at vehicle 
crossing sites throughout Kazakhstan. The date for the start of this 
project has been moved from July 1 to October 1. 
 
     3. Product Identification Tool Training (PIT). Commonwealth 
Trading Partners (CTP) Export Control Specialist Elizabeth Antonia 
Smiroldo conducted a two day Product Identification Tool (PIT) 
Technical Workshop for Kazakhstan Customs in Aktobe  on June 21-22. 
CTP Export Control Specialist Adrian Boanca conducted PIT for 
Kazakhstan Customs in Ust-Kamenogorsk on June 26-27. Assisting in 
the training was CTP's in country representative Business Inform, 
 
ASTANA 00002101  003 OF 003 
 
 
who translated the PIT into Russian and modified the software to 
make the program more useful and user friendly. PIT participants 
gave praised the training and the usefulness of the PIT software. 
 
 
 4. The Kazakhstan Border Guards Service postponed the U.S. Cost 
Guard Mobile training scheduled for July 9 to July 20 because the 
hull of the Safe boats provided to 
Kazakhstan Border Guards in May of 2006 are not painted with the 
anti-fouling paint.  Two Safe boats are also not operational. The 
training was moved from July to October. 
 
E. SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS IN EXPORT CONTROLS, NONPROLIFERATION, OR 
RELATED BORDER SECURITY 
 
 1. None. 
 
F. CASPIAN SECURITY INFORMATION 
 
      1. None. 
 
III. RED FLAG ISSUES. 
 
 1. None. 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks

07ASTANA2098, KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, JULY 2007

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2098 2007-08-03 08:45 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO0433
RR RUEHAST RUEHDBU
DE RUEHTA #2098 2150845
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 030845Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0259
INFO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1798
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 8083
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 7989
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 7213
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 2201
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1458
RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2227

UNCLAS ASTANA 002098 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: ALMATY NOTES, JULY 2007 
 
 
1. The "Almaty Notes" series is intended to maintain focus on 
developments in civil society, the media, and the opposition in 
Kazakhstan's "southern capital" following the move of the Embassy to 
Astana. 
 
Government Reshuffle Expected after Elections 
------------------------------------------- 
 
2. An Almaty political analyst, Andrey Chebotaryev, predicts a 
government reshuffle after the Mazhilis (Parliament) elections. 
According to Mr. Chebotaryev, Prime Minister Masimov may announce 
the resignation of the government or the president himself may 
initiate a reshuffle.   Masimov would likely be reinstated in his 
position.  The candidates for resignation are Vice Prime Minister 
and Minister of Economy Aslan Musin, Minister of Culture and 
Information Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, Minister of Labor and Social 
Protection Gulzhana Karagusova and Minister of Justice Zagipa 
Baliyeva.  They have been placed on the party list of Nur Otan to 
take party seats in the Mazhilis.  There are various reasons for the 
expected moves; for example Aslan Musin has made slow progress on 
administrative reform, Yetysbayev has been involved in conflicts 
with mass media and journalists and  Karagusova has been blamed for 
poor social protection of some categories of Kazakhstanis and for 
failure to fight poverty and unemployment.  The other candidates for 
resignation are the Interior Minister, Baurzhan Mukhamedzhanov, and 
some oblast akims. 
 
Nationalists demand Aliyev's Extradition 
---------------------------------------- 
 
3. A group of representatives of the "Zheltoksan" nationalist 
movement picketed the consulate of Austria in Almaty on July 20 
demanding that Austria extradite Rakhat Aliyev.  The protesters 
handed over their demand in writing to a representative of the 
consulate.  (Interfax, July 20) 
 
Hunger Strikes against Demolition 
--------------------------------- 
 
4. Six residents of an apartment building on Seyfullin Street in 
Almaty went on hunger strike in protest against the planned 
demolishment of the building.  According to the protesters, the 
compensation they have been offered is too low to buy apartments in 
the central districts of the city.  The conflict has lasted for a 
year.  A construction company, which wants to build a hotel on the 
site, has bought all but three of the apartments.  (Vremya daily, 
July 19) 
 
5. In the settlement of Karasu, located on the outskirts of Almaty 
City, on July 23 ten local residents announced a hunger strike in 
protest against the  demolition of their houses. On July 6 this year 
the city court in Almaty approved a plan to demolish 13 illegal 
houses in this settlement.  According to Dametken Alenova, who is 
defending the owners of these houses, all 13 owners have permits 
signed in 1998 by the former akim of the Zhetysu district.  However, 
the current deputy akim of the district asserts the lands have not 
been legalized and the residents began to seize these lands only 
last year.  (www.kub.kz, July 27, 2007) 
 
Almaty Police Fighting Drug Trafficking 
--------------------------------------- 
 
6. In the past six months the police in Almaty have seized 170 kilos 
of illegal narcotics, the press service of the city police reported 
on July 19.  Since the beginning of the year the city police have 
conducted five operations and closed down several drug delivery 
channels.  Seven thousand drug addicts, most of them minors, are 
registered with the city drug addict treatment center.  (Liter 
daily, July 20) 
 
Illegal Migrants in Almaty 
-------------------------- 
 
7. For the first half of this year the migration police in Almaty 
reported 15,000 illegal migrants, mostly from Uzbekistan, 
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Russia.  According to the law, illegal 
migrants should be deported and the migration police should impose a 
ban on their travel to Kazakhstan for five years.  According to the 
Almaty Migration Police, illegal migration to Kazakhstan, including 
Almaty, is rising.  (Liter daily, July 24) 
 
MILAS

Wikileaks