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Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Kazakh president: NGOs to be watched

From Radio Free Europe:

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev cautioned foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) yesterday that their activities will be closely watched. Nazarbaev is seeking re-reelection in presidential elections in December. The Kazakh president warned foreign NGOs not to interfere in the country’s politics and threatened to prosecute them if they meddled in the election campaign. But analysts say Nazarbaev is concerned about a repeat of the colored revolutions that have hit other former Soviet states.

Speaking to a gathering of civic groups in Astana yesterday, Nazarbaev devoted a good portion of speech to the work of foreign NGOs.

In particular, the Kazakh president emphasized the negative roles he said such groups played in recent changes of power in Georgia, Ukraine, and neighboring Kyrgyzstan.

Nazarbaev said that in the wake of the so-called colored revolutions in those countries, Kazakhstan’s parliament has sought to pass new legislation placing strict guidelines on the work of foreign NGOs. The proposed law on the activities of NGOs in Kazakhstan was overruled by the Constitutional Council last month, but Nazarbaev said members of parliament were justified in seeking to further regulate the role of NGOs.

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