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Friday, August 12, 2005


Kazakh council to rule on NGO laws

From EurasiaNet:

Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council is expected to issue a decision soon on two pieces of legislation concerning non-governmental organizations that have the potential to influence the course of the country’s political development.

The two laws stand to curtail the operational capabilities of NGOs engaged in democratization-related activities. The laws -- officially named "On the Activities of Branches and Representative Offices of International or Foreign Non-Commercial Organizations" and "On the Introduction of Amendments and Additions into Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Matters Related to Non-Profit Organizations – would significantly tighten government oversight of financial interaction between local NGOs and international entities. The legislation would also prohibit local NGOs from funding political parties and supporting the candidacies of a particular Kazakhstani politicians. Taken together, most local NGOs would effectively be barred from playing a significant role in the political process, given that foreign donors comprise the major part of their funding base. If the Constitutional Council upholds the laws, Zhovtis asserted that "it will create serious damage to the process of democratization."

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