Democrats call on Nazarbaev to sack PM and take over government

Democrats call on Nazarbaev to sack PM and take over government - Central Asia News Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan-Sports Business and Entertainment

Farid Agakhanov

2008-10-20

ASTANA, Oct. 15—Kazakhstan’s democratic party, Azat is demanding the sacking of the cabinet prime minister, Karim Masimov, the immediate convening of an anti-crisis meeting and the adoption of a programme to overcome the economic crisis. The party also stated that given the present crisis, President Nursultan Nazarbaev “should take responsibility for the state of the economy, as have Nicholas Sarkozy and Dmirty Medvedev, and perform the duties of the head of the government for six months.”

Calling the government’s activity inadequate, the Azat party charges the authorities with “introducing a symbolic export tariff on some ‘sacred cow’ oil companies” including Tengizchevroil and mining giants Kazakhmys and Eurasian Group, while “microscopically” raising pensions, stipends and social benefits.

As a result, small and medium-sized businesses outside the commodities sector continue to suffer a deep crisis, as does the social sphere. “Even official statistics for the first half of 2008 indicate that final consumption by the population fell, compared with 2007, from 56.5 percent to 51.2 percent of GDP,” a party statement notes.

The party contends that the only thing growing as before is corruption in government bodies and national companies. The latest attempt to combat corruption, the “10 blows to corruption” plan promised by the president at the beginning of the year, has yet to be adopted. This may account for Kazakhstan once again being ranked 145 for corruption by Transparency International on a scale where higher numbers indicate greater corruption. That places Kazakhstan ahead of only Nigeria, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.

[Source: news agency Fergana.ru]

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