Observers will be admitted to Zhanaozen and the election of members for the Majilis (lower chamber) of the Kazakh Parliament and members of maslikhats will be held at the scheduled time. Restrictions relating to electoral campaigning were also introduced in the city. The election will take place on 15th January, 2012, as the presidential decree on the state of emergency does not forbid the running of elections. In the city, the electoral campaign will be limited to the participation and organisation of peaceful events, rallies, marches, pickets and demonstrations; at the same time campaigning via mass media will take place in its full scope. This was announced at a press conference by the head of the Central Election Commission, Kuandyk Turgankulov. He also mentioned that there is a possibility of access to this region, as well as to information about the election, the work of election officials and the activity of all participants of the electoral process.
A meeting between the Chairman of the CEC of Kazakhstan, K. Turgankulov and the head of the Staff of the CIS Observation Mission, E. Sloboda was held. The head of the Central Election Commission presented the chief of the CIS Observer Mission with a certificate of accreditation as an international observer during the election of members for the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan on 15th January, 2012. As of 23rd December, 99 people expressed their desire to observe the elections in 2012. Among them, 46 are representatives of the OSCE / ODIHR, 45 came from the CIS, and 8 are s from other foreign states.
A meeting of the Council of People’s Assembly of Kazakhstan was held. During its course, candidates for members of the Majilis of the Parliament, elected by the Assembly, were nominated. The list includes Zhumatai Aliev, Murad Akhmadiev, Roman Kim, Akhmed Muradov, Rozakul Khalmuradov, Yurii Timoschenko, Yegor Kappel, Nadezhda Nesterova, Zukhra Sayapova. We should bear in mind that the Majilis comprises: 107 members elected in the following order: 98 members of the Majilis are elected on the basis of common, equal and direct electoral right by means of secret ballot from party lists (that is, as a result of the election), and the remaining 9 members of the Majilis are elected by the People’s Assembly of Kazakhstan.
Altynshash Dzhaganova, a former chairman of the ‘Rukhanyat’ party demanded the cancellation of the registration of the party list of the ‘Rukhaniyat’. A. Dzhaganova appealed to the General Prosecutor’s Office to conduct a legal assessment of the activities undertaken by the chairman of ‘Ruhaniyat’ Serikzhan Mambetalin and to take appropriate action. She also demanded that the party withdraw from the race. According to her, during the pre-election Congress there was no quorum, and the current leadership of the party has neither the charter, nor the constitutional documents or a seal. Serikzhan Mambetalin became the chairman at the 7th Congress of the ‘Rukhinyat’ Party on 16th March, 2010. On 26th December, an economist, Mukhtar Tayzhan released a statement declaring his decision not to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections and about his disassociation from the ‘Rukhanyat’ party. He stated that his decision was made as a sign of protest against the use of weapons against strikers in Zhanaozen.
MEPs published an open letter to President Nursultan Nazarbaev. In the document, they condemned the acts of violence in Zhanaozen, urged the Government of Kazakhstan to withdraw its troops and to ensure a transparent investigation into the incident is carried out and to stop the persecution of labour union activists and opposition groups. They also announced the requirements for a constructive dialogue between the government, the company management and the workers of oil companies.. The requirements include the release of oil workers’ lawyer Natalia Sokolova, who was convicted on 8th August, 2011 under Article 164 (“incitement of social, national, tribal, racial or religious hatred”) and 334 (“violation of the order of organising and holding meetings, rallies, pickets, marches and demonstrations”) of the Criminal Code. The letter bears the signatures of 47 members of the Parliament.
Dismissed oil workers were promised jobs. The official representative of the government commission on Zhanaozen, the Mangistau Province Akim’s (the head’s) councillor for socio-political issues, Zhanna Oyshybaeva stated that persons who were lawfully dismissed from the production branch ‘OzenMunayGaz’, ‘Karazhanbasmunai’ JSC and its contractors – ‘ArgymakTransServis’ LLP and ‘TulparMunayServis’ LLP were offered employment in large enterprises located all over Kazakhstan, mainly in the mining industry, oil and gas sector or in service enterprises. The first stage includes an invitation to participate in paid public work aimed at rebuilding of the city of Zhanaozen. The Vice Minister of Labour and Social Protection, Birzhan Nurymbetov noted that 26% of the laid-off oil workers were Oralmans (ethnic Kazakhs, repatriated, resettled in Kazakhstan from neighboring countries after the collapse of the USSR). Also, the public committee will examine the situation in Zhanaozen in order to investigate the events in the Mangistau Province. The committee included Murat Auezov, Zauresh Battalova, Gabbas Kabyshev, Gaziz Aldamzharov, Ryspek Sarsenbaev, Ninel Fokina, Vladimir Kozlov, Bulat Abilov, Gulzhan Yergalieva and other prominent social activists and politicians.
21.12.2011, The village of Zhetybai, The Mangistau Province
Representatives of local authorities denied the reports of the ‘disorders’ in the village Zhetybai. The representative of the Akim of the Mangistau Province, Zhanna Oyshybaeva did not confirm the legitimacy of the information that approx. 7,000 workers organised a rally in Zhetybai. The news including a video of protest action was published via the website of ‘The Republic’, which is in opposition to official authorities. According to the information portal, in Zhetybai workers of ‘Mangistaumunaigaz’, ‘Munaytelekom’, ‘Mangistauenergomunay’, ‘Oil service companies’ LLP and ‘Oil Service Construction’ LLP participated in the rally.
The presidency of all the CSTO statutory bodies was transferred from Belarus to Kazakhstan. The members of CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation) are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
International Media Support Organisation ‘Article 19’ presented an assessment of the level of freedom of speech in Kazakhstan. According to the statement, Kazakhstan has not yet fulfilled the commitments which it took on before Kazakhstan’s presidency of the OSCE. An example of restrictions on freedom of speech is the information blockade in Zhanaozen – during the first days of riots many websites were blocked, cell phone coverage was disabled, and journalists were prevented from entering the city. The statement mentions several court cases concerning the media, and the blockade of popular Internet resources, such as Livejournal.com. The name of the organisation: ‘Article 19’ derives from Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”
In Aktau, there was a meeting of representatives of dismissed worker and management. The head of the government commission on the events in Zhanaozen, First Deputy Prime Minister Umirzak Shukeyev, president of the ‘KazMunayGas’ National Company, Lyazzat Kiinov and president of ‘Razvedka Dobycha’ ‘KazMunayGaz’ Alex Aidarbayev met with the dismissed employees of the Karazhanbasmunai company in Aktau. The striking oil workers of the Karazhanbasmunay company refused to assign representatives to the conciliation commission which would participate in negotiations with employers and pronounced themselves against their employment in other regions of Kazakhstan. On 25th December, the Chairman of the Board of the ‘Razvedka Dobycha’ ‘KazMunayGaz’ JSC, Alex Aidarbayev said the company admitted its guilt towards the workers.
The InfoSystem Research Center Public Foundation presented the result of a sociological survey.According to the survey entitled ‘The electoral mood of Kazakhstan’, which was held from 4th to 23rdDecember this year, commissioned by the ‘Media Astana’ Public Association, electoral turnout is 75.2%. According to the presented data, the largest number of voters are willing to vote for the NDP ‘Nur Otan’ – 80.1%. The survey was conducted among 1597 respondents in 14 regions, Almaty and Astana. The statistical error does not exceed 3.5%.
The Standard & Poor’s Agency reported that the riots in the oil regions of Kazakhstan did not have an immediate impact on the sovereign rating of Kazakhstan. The Standard & Poor’s ratings service stated that the sovereign rating and the outlook on the Republic of Kazakhstan remain unchanged after the mass protest action, however, analysts have reported the possibility of revising their statements as a result of the influence of agitation on the extraction of oil, political stability or implementation of the investment plan.
Teliasonerahas signed an agreement with ‘Kazakhtelecom’ JSC on the acquisition of 49% of shares in the ‘GSM Kazakhstan OJSC’ Kazakhtelecom LLP, working under the Kcell brand name.The value of the transaction amounted to 1 billion 519 million dollars. LLP GSM Kazakhstan OJSC ‘Kazakhtelecom’ is now owned by Fintur Holdings (with a share of 51 per cent) and JSC ‘Kazakhtelecom’ (with a share of 49 per cent). Fintur Holdings BV, in turn, is owned by TeliaSonera (with a share of 58.55 per cent) and Turkcell (with the share of 41,45 percent). After completion of both phases of the transaction TeliaSonera’s effective participation in Kcell will be 61.74 percent.
The ‘KazMunayGaz’conducted personnel reshuffle. Lyazzat Kiinov, the former Vice-Minister of Oil and Gas of Kazakhstan was appointed the chairman of the ‘KazMunayGaz’ and Alec Aidarbayev, who previously held the office of the chairman of the Board of Directors, was elected Chairman of the Board (General Director) of ‘Razvedka Dobytcha ‘KazMunayGaz’ JSC. Sisengali Utegaliev will temporarily perform the duties of chairman of the Board of Directors until a new chairman is elected.