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Kazakh President Calls for Balanced Election Coverage

President Nursultan Nazarbaev used a 21 July meeting with the heads of major media outlets to call for balanced, yet public-minded coverage of the 19 September parliamentary elections, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported.

Noting that "press freedom must be subordinate to public interests," the president said that the media should report on both positive and negative developments, with positive information preceding criticism.

He asked the media to avoid becoming in involved in any "black PR," or political dirty tricks. Nazarbaev also hailed the advent of social and political stability in Kazakhstan, saying that it "allows us to hold transparent elections without any problems."

He also pledged that the country will introduce an electronic voting system "no matter who cries and how much."

(RFE/RL 22.vii.04)

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