ALMATY/ASTANA, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Kazakh opposition
leaders set fire to copies of voting results on Tuesday in a
public repudiation of a weekend election that reinforced
President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s grip on power only a month
after deadly clashes in a mutinous oil town.
Around 100 disgruntled voters held a peaceful protest in
Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, to say they did not recognise
the results of the election, which was heralded by authorities
in the former Soviet republic as a democratic first.
AKTAU, Kazakhstan, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Alexander
Pyastlov spends most of his time among heaps of paper in his
cramped, Soviet-built apartment. The retired engineer is proud
of his one-man mission: to defend the oil workers fired in the
prelude to Kazakhstan’s deadliest unrest in decades.
The 72-year-old Aktau resident spent his working life in a
uranium-processing plant. He never trained as a lawyer, but
complains no legal professional is willing to take on the cases
of the forgotten oilmen of this western Kazakh province.
ASTANA/AKTAU, Kazakhstan, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Kazakh
President Nursultan Nazarbayev described his victory in a
weekend election as an endorsement of national unity after
unrest by oil workers cast a shadow over a vote that Western
monitors said had excluded any genuine opposition.
Two parties, both sympathetic to the president, will for the
first time join Nazarbayev’s victorious Nur Otan in parliament
after Sunday’s vote to add a veneer of democracy in the face of
growing frustration over unequal distribution of oil wealth.
ZHANAOZEN, Kazakhstan, Jan 16 (Reuters) – At least one
new party will enter Kazakhstan’s parliament after an election
that offered a small concession to democracy following deadly
riots by oil workers which shook the country’s stable image
built up by President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Exit polls after Sunday’s election in the vast Central Asian
state put the long-serving leader’s Nur Otan party on course to
win by a landslide. But they also suggested two other parties
broadly sympathetic to the government, the pro-business Ak Zhol
and the Communist People’s Party, could enter the lower house.
ZHANAOZEN, Kazakhstan (Reuters) – Kazakhstan voted on Sunday in an election that will admit a second party to parliament, in a small concession to democracy by President Nursultan Nazarbayev after deadly clashes in a mutinous oil town shook the country’s stable image.
In Zhanaozen, the oil town where at least 16 people were killed in December clashes between police and protesters, black-clad police, many armed with Kalashnikov rifles, patrolled the streets. Beneath billboard images of Nazarbayev, who has ruled since 1989 and has no obvious successor, voters braved a blizzard to cast their ballots.
ZHANAOZEN, Kazakhstan, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan
began voting on Sunday in an election designed to put a second
party in parliament and ease growing discontent after deadly
riots shook the image of stability prized by the veteran leader
of Central Asia’s largest economy and oil producer.
No one doubts President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan
party will win by a landslide. The second-placed party will also
be guaranteed a presence in the 107-seat chamber, whether or not
it clears the 7 percent entry threshold.
ALMATY, Dec 22 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan’s veteran
leader, facing the biggest challenge to stability in his vast
oil-producing nation, flew on Thursday to a western region hit
by violent riots and sacked some of the country’s top energy
officials over the crisis.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s arrival in the heart of
Kazakhstan’s oil industry coincided with growing international
pressure on Kazakhstan to investigate the violence.
ALMATY, Dec 22 (Reuters) – Kazakhstan has invited
United Nations experts to take part in investigating deadly
clashes in a western oil-producing region where at least 16
people were killed in the Central Asian nation’s worst outburst
of violence in decades.
The United States, the European Union and the Organisation
for Security and Cooperation in Europe have expressed concerns
about the violence and urged Kazakhstan to carry out a
transparent investigation into the riots.
ALMATY, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Opponents of Kazakhstan’s
long-time leader flew to the oil-producing west on Wednesday to
investigate deadly clashes that pose one of the most serious
challenges to Nursultan Nazarbayev’s two-decade rule.
Police clashed with protesters in the town of Zhanaozen last
Friday after a seven-month protest by sacked oil workers.
Fifteen were killed in the clashes that have shattered
Kazakhstan’s carefully cultivated image of stability.
ALMATY, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Riots in Kazakhstan’s
western Mangistau region, the deadliest in the Central Asian
state’s recent history, spread late on Saturday when one person
died and 11 people were injured as protesters clashed with
police near the village of Shetpe.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev declared a 20-day state of
emergency on Saturday in the oil city of Zhanaozen, located in
the same region, after at least 11 people were killed there in
an outbreak of violence on Dec. 16-17.