Kazakhstan. In March, President Nursultan Nazarbayev approved an agreement on enhanced cooperation with three other CIS states, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation and Belarus. The states formed a joint council according to the EU model. The Russian Federation is interested in increased cooperation due to Kazakhstan’s oil resources.
In March 1994, the first multiparty elections won by Nazarbayev’s party. Shortly after the election victory, a series of scandals about supposed corruption forced Prime Minister Sergey Tereschenko to resign. He was replaced on the post by Akezhan Kazhegeldin. The new head of government immediately declared that he would accelerate the liberalization of the economy.
In April, the government launched a comprehensive privatization plan affecting 3,500 state-owned enterprises – 70% of state-owned property. Through 1995, the liberalization of the economy and the country’s extensive natural resources attracted a large number of foreign investors. But at the same time, economic reforms led to a decline in living standards for many Kazakhs.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: What does GOK stand for? In the field of geography, this two letter acronym means Kazakhstan. Check this to see its other meanings in English and other 35 languages.
The Constitutional Court canceled the election results from the previous year, and the president declared that he would rule by post. decree until new elections could be carried out. As a result of public discontent and fear of not being elected to a free election with several candidates, Nazarbayev took advantage of the political crisis to propose that a referendum should extend his term until 2000. The vote was held in April, and the official result indicated that the president had almost 100% support.
In March 1996, a Customs Union was established between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Russia with the aim of creating a single market for goods, capital and workers. At the same time, the agreement opened up the possibility of integration in transport, energy and data processing.
In April 1997, Kazakhstan signed an agreement with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on reducing the troop forces in the area and demilitarizing the borders of the countries. The deal followed a Russia-China agreement that was in line with a Russian strategy of rapprochement with the Asian neighbors, which had already been drafted under Gorbachov. At the end of the year, Kazakhstan signed an agreement with China on joint exploration of some of the two countries’ largest deposits of oil. In October, the government appointed Nurlan Balgimbayev as prime minister and removed Kazhegeldin from the post.
In March 1998, former Deputy Prime Minister Kadyr Baikenov was appointed to head Kazatomprom – the state nuclear energy company. It was perceived as a return of the “old guard” attached to Nazarbayev as a result of the “liberal” Kazhegeldin’s resignation. Kazhegeldin, on the other hand, was named President of the Union of Industrialists and Employers.
Nazarbayev won 78% of the vote in the January 1999 presidential election. His strongest counterpart, Serkbolsyn Abdildin of the Communist Party, had to settle for 13% of the vote. Despite some allegations of irregularities, 80% of voters chose to take part in the election.
In March, exports of Mig aircraft in poor condition forced Defense Minister Mukhtar Altynbayev and Security Council President Nurtai Abykayev to resign.
In September 99 elections were held for the Senate and in October for Mazhilis (Lower House). Eleven parties were registered to take part in the elections, which for the first time had political parties. However, only 10 of the seats in Mazhilis were occupied by the parties, while the remaining 67 were occupied by independent candidates.
After presenting a heavily shaved finance law, Parliament passed a declaration of mistrust to the government, prompting Prime Minister Nurlan Balgimbayev to resign on October 1. He was replaced on the post by former Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev.
According to Countryaah.com, the population of Kazakhstan in 1996 was 15,839,252, ranking number 53 in the world. The population growth rate was -0.670% yearly, and the population density was 5.8671 people per km2.