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New Kazakh Prime Minister chosen

Daniyal Akhmetov, former akim (governor) of Pavlodar Oblast, was presented by President Nursultan Nazarbaev to a joint session of parliament on 13 June as his choice to replace Imanghali Tasmaghambetov, who resigned as prime minister two days earlier. Nazarbaev told the parliament that a new prime minister would need to have experience in oblast government because the country needs to speed up the pace of social and economic development. Akmetov was approved in an almost unanimous vote by 36 of 39 senators and 73 of 77 members of the Mazhilis, khabar.kz and Interfax-Kazakhstan reported the same day. Akhmetov has 10 days under Kazakh law to form a government. Nazarbaev appointed Tasmaghambetov state secretary and told parliament that he had been satisfied with the work of the former prime minister's government, adding that he had not intended to replace it.

Akhmetov says he believes in continuity for Kazakhstan

Newly confirmed Prime Minister Akhmetov told the Kazakh parliament on 13 June that there should be continuity even when governments change, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported, indicating that he intends to make few ministerial changes and that the policies of his predecessor will remain in place. Akhmetov was quoted as saying that Kazakhstan is building a state governed by the rule of law where everyone has the right to freedom of conscience and expression, but that everyone should work within the law. He added that there should be no dissidents, but rather a constructive dialogue in an atmosphere of mutual understanding. He noted that there are presidential programs aimed at making Kazakhstan prosperous and that everyone should be engaged in implementing them. Akhmetov will be 49 on 15 June, Interfax noted; he has been governor of Pavlodar, of which he is a native, since 2001. He has degrees in construction engineering and economics and has held a number of government posts, including deputy prime minister for industry, energy, transport, and communications.

(RFE/RL 13.vi.03)

 
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