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Uzbekistan: Missing Pensioner Spotted in Beijing

3 Sep

Uzbekistan’s most famous awol pensioner is up to his old tricks again. Earlier this week he disappeared from the secure unit he resides in in Tashkent, Uzbekistan after making a speech on Uzbekistan’s Independence Day, 1 September.

Nothing was heard of Mr Karimov until 3 September when he was spotted at an event in Beijing, China glorifying the Soviet Union’s great victory over Japan in 1945.

Missing pensioner found by old buddies in Beijing

The plucky Soviets declared war on Japan on 8 August 1945,  two days after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and a day before the second was dropped on Nagasaki. The valiant Soviets managed to clear Imperial Japanese forces from mainland China in just over three weeks.

Kazakhstan Decides

24 Apr

The presidential re-election reaches its climax on Sunday as Kazakhstan goes to the polls to elect its president for another five-year term. Kazaxia is pleased to present a who’s who for the upcoming vote.

In this election the voters have a choice between three candidates: The Leader, who is the incumbent, Sovieticus Redux, the communist and the Invisible Man, who is possibly standing on an environmental ticket.

An election information board in downtown Almaty, Kazakhstan with a poster for the Leader and the communist candidate

An election information board in downtown Almaty, Kazakhstan with a poster for the Leader and the communist candidate

1. The Leader, having led the country since 1989, is the red-hot favourite to romp home to victory in this three-horse race. This time round he is promising enduring stability as the only alternative to the chaos change would bring.

2. Sovieticus Redux is the Communist National Party of the People of Kazakhstan candidate. He has campaigned on an anti-Western materialism ticket. No doubt he drives a battered old Moskvitch rather than a Range Rover or Porsche, uses a Soviet-era telephone in place of an iPhone and wears a suit he bought in Moscow in 1974 – no Armani for him.

3. The Invisible Man has led a low-key campaign to the point of invisibility. It is believed that he has some concerns about the environment.

Here is Psychic Saiga’s prediction for the result:

1. The Leader +/- 97%

2. Sovieticus Redux +/- 2.5%

3. The Invisible Man +/- 0.5%

Kazakhstan: Lear or Joffrey?

27 Feb

A major obstacle to presidential succession plans in Kazakhstan was removed this week with the suicide of Rakhat Aliyev.

With Aliyev, Kazakhstan’s Public Enemy Number One, found dead in his prison cell earlier this week in Austria, the way could now be clear for the president’s eldest daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva, to ascend to the throne.

While Aliyev was still on the scene there were fears that Dariga’s psycho ex-husband, convicted in Kazakhstan of plotting to overthrow the government and organising a criminal group that abducted people, could somehow sneak into power on the back of his ex-wife.

A snap presidential poll has been called for April 26 in Kazakhstan, a vote which should see incumbent Nursultan Nazarbayev sweep back into power on a tide of mass popular support, but there’s one snag – the septuagenarian president, who was been running the show since 1989 in Kazakhstan, has not yet said whether he will be running.

kazaxia’s chief political commentator Gary Kafali has identified two possible scenarios should Nazarbayev decide to call it a day.

With Aliyev out of the way,  the president can hand over the reins to his daughter to safeguard the widespread interests of the Nazarbayev clan in Kazakhstan with no fears of his nemesis making an unwelcome appearance.

Kafali imagines a King Lear scenario where the leader of the nation divides his time between his three daughters with Dariga taking over the running of the country. However, Shakespeare fans will know that didn’t end well so it may not be the best for Kazakhstan.

The Joffrey scenario will see Nazarbayev by-pass his daughter and anoint his eldest grandson instead. Nurali Aliyev, son of Rakhat and Dariga, would be a guarantor of the clan’s interests, although there are fears that he may have inherited some of his father’s less pleasant genes. Game of Thrones fans will be wary of the young leader turning into a leader in the sadistic mould of Joffrey Baratheon.

When pressed, Kafali said that the most likely scenario is that president Nazarbayev will be unable to give up power and we should expect to see him back in charge come April 27.

Uzbekistan: Joy as Missing Pensioner Found

20 Feb

In line with Astana’s recent directive to independent media outlets to promote positive news, kazaxia is proud to be able some to offer some good news at long last – missing septuagenarian Islam Karimov has been located in Qarshi, Uzbekistan.

Was this missing pensioner at Mardi Gras in Brazil?

Karimov, or “Butch” to his friends, was tracked down after kazaxia released a silver alert earlier this week. He is said to be in good shape though confused as to how he ended up in this city, which is a long way from his home in Tashkent.

Butch plans to continue with his dream to be president of Uzbekistan in his 80s, emulating his hero Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Who knows, if Mugabe should step down, President Karimov could one day be the world’s oldest serving president.

 

 

Uzbekistan: Silver Alert

16 Feb

Concerns are growing in Tashkent, Uzbekistan for missing pensioner Islam Karimov. Some of his family members are worried about his whereabouts as he has not been seen in public since late January when he met new US ambassador to Uzbekistan Pamela Spratlen.

Image result for karimov

He was due to endorse his candidacy for Uzbekistan’s presidential election on 6 February but failed to show up for that appointment.

The septuagenarian presidential hopeful is known to his friends as ‘Butch’ for the role he played in overseeing the bloody massacre in Andijan, Uzbekistan in 2005. He is said to be short-tempered and prone to bouts of confusion.

Kazakhstan: Adventures in Democracy

9 Oct

Lord Venal has been on the observation trail once again – here are his reflections from his recent trip to Kazakhstan to observe the Senate elections [Editor’s note: This was in an unofficial capacity as Lord Venal is barred from observer missions after last year’s vicious smear campaign orchestrated by the Azeri authorities]

Democracy is inching along in Kazakhstan with the free and fair elections to the country’s upper chamber, the Senate, paying testament to this.

“We have been witnesses to an open and democratic electoral process. We congratulate the people of Kazakhstan and the election organizers,” Kazakhstan’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) told Spain’s EFE news agency, reported Fox News Latino.

The ruling Nur Otan party, loyal to the Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev, swept the board gaining every seat in the new-look Senate.

Some 250 observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization were present for the vote on October 1.

Those party-poopers at The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe did not send observers due to the “indirect” nature of the elections, CEC Chairman Kuandyk Turgankolov said.

The Senate consists of 47 members – 15 are appointed by President Nazarbayev and the others are elected by the lower house, the Mazhilis, with 16 places up for grabs every three years. The senators serve a six-year term.

Could not the UK learn a lesson from Kazakhstan in these matters? The House of Lords, where I sit, is an unelected body. Maybe the Queen, as Head of State, could appoint some of its members with the rest selected by a vote in the House of Commons?

Independent Scotland to Join Russia-led Customs Union?

5 Sep

With just under a fortnight to go until Scotland goes to the polls to decide whether to leave the United Kingdom, support for the yes camp has come from a surprising source – Russia.

Sergi Lossossoff a prominent figure in the world of Russian business, told kazaxia that Scotland would find a ready ally in Russia if it were to go down the rocky road to freedom.

“As a representative of the people of the ancient Rus, I think it is a great step that Scotland is taking to free itself from the tyranny of the crypto-fascist-Banderov London pseudo state. As we saw in Crimea, when people are given their voice, free from tyranny and oppression, they want to join Russia,” Lossossoff told kazaxia.

“Scotland would be welcome in the Eurasian Economic Union. The European Union is a decadent monolith that has had its day. Russia, along with the other members, [Belarus, Kazakhstan and possibly Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Vanuatu and North Korea] would be only too glad to have as much haggis and whisky as our little Scottish brothers could supply,”he continued in reference to concerns that have been raised as to Scotland’s future in the European Union were it to vote yes.

There has been much talk about whether Scotland could retain the pound after independence. Lossossoff feels that Scotland need not worry about this as it could easily adopt the rouble to its benefit. “With the current parlous state of Russia’s currency, Scots with savings of just £16,500 [at current exchange rates] would immediately be turned into [rouble] millionaires,” he quipped.

Defence is another area that would not be an issue as Russia has unlimited supplies of ‘little green men’ who could be parachuted in at a moment’s notice to defend the territorial integrity of Scotland, according to Lossossoff, who has had meetings with his drinking buddy Captain Haddock, who is widely tipped to be Minister of Defence in any new Scottish state.

As to the question of the BBC’s role in a free Scotland, Lossossoff said that “Russia has always been a champion of a free and fair media, and unlike the biased BBC, we have a model in Russia Today that Scotland would do well to follow.”

Kazakhstan: The Axe-Man Cometh

7 Aug

President Nazarbayev returned to Kazakhstan from his July holidays as a man on a mission to trim back the excesses of his government’s bloated bureaucracy.

It must have been an uncomfortable experience for the government bigwigs assembled in Akorda, the president’s Astana HQ, as the axe fell repeatedly with ministries and agencies being culled and merged left, right and centre. After the dust had settled, Kazakhstan was left with 12 ministries from its former tally of 17.

Kazaxia has had a look at some of the main changes: the biggest shock was the merging of the Family Affairs and Nepotism ministries, bringing the bodies for providing jobs for clan and family members and other assorted hangers-on under one umbrella. This is set to cause some friction in the months ahead as former ministers scrabble to place their kith and kin in cushy numbers. It should be a bloody battle with the trough having been significantly downsized.

The Ministry of Privatisations was merged with the Nationalisation Ministry in a move that will effectively paralyse attempts by Astana to either buy or sell its ailing industrial base. The Corruption Agency was brought under the auspices of the Ministry for Investment to streamline procedures for investors.

The energy sector also saw major changes. The Agency for Renewable Energy was subsumed by the Ministry for Fossil Fuels to create a powerful lobby group for the extractive industries. Eco fanatics will be further enraged by the decision to place the Environmental Protection Agency under the wing of the Ministry for Urban Development. This should pave the way for controversial projects such as the Kok-Zhailau ski resort to proceed unhindered.

Russia to Quit Eurasian Economic Union?

30 May

After Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan inked the Eurasian Economic Union treaty in Astana yesterday, observers have started to question whether the treaty is valid by raising concerns over territorial issues.

Lord Venal told kazaxia that Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in March, widely condemned by the international community, could result in complications for the fledgling economic union.

And then there were two?

“Kazakhstan has insisted that Armenia will be allowed to join this exclusive club only if it does so within its internationally-recognised borders thus excluding the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh,” Lord Venal told kazaxia.

“This decision could have serious implications for Russia as it has illegally-occupied sovereign Ukrainian land. This could mean Crimea being excluded from the Union or even Russia having to leave the bloc,” he continued.

This would leave Belarus and Kazakhstan as the leading lights of Eurasian integration. The possible inclusion of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan would be unlikely to make up for the loss of Russia’s economic clout.

Abkhazia, a largely unrecognised breakaway region of Georgia, has also been mooted as a potential member. Doctor Gött, of the Gött Institute of Serious Thinking (GIST) thought it highly improbable that Abkhazia would be able to join the union.

“It’s not even a real country, is it?” he told kazaxia. “The actual details of the [Eurasian Economic Union] treaty have not been made public but I’m sure there’s no provision for including pretend countries”.

Doctor Gött suggested that if Russia were to be kicked out and these other countries (even pretend ones) were allowed in then KABAK (marrow or courgette) could be a suitable acronym for the grouping.

Kazakhstan: Almaty Tenge Devaluation Protest in Pictures

15 Feb
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Abai looks on as workers clear snow from the square in front of Republic Palace demonstrators wanted to protest on

Protestors gathered today in Almaty, Kazakhstan to protest about the 20% devaluation of the tenge on February 11. A few hundred protestors marched from the square by Republic Palace to City Hall but before the demonstrators could reach New Square, police snatch squads moved in to detain around 30 people. For more background, check out this piece on EurasiaNet.org.

 

A protestor is bundled away by the police in Almaty

A protestor is bundled away by the police in Almaty

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Almaty Prosecutor tells crowd to disperse or face arrest for holding a rally without the ten day’s notice required by law – no notice is needed for a devaluation of the tenge.

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A protestor is arrested and taken away by the police in Almaty

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Nice shades – some KNB head honcho?

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Lines of police ready for lunch after a busy day’s work