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Kazakhstan: Opposition Complains About Campaign, as Officials Press OSCE Chair Bid

With a parliamentary election campaign in full swing at home, Kazakhstan is pressing its case abroad for the OSCE chair in 2009.

Addressing the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on July 26, Culture and Information Minister Yermukhamet Yertysbayev stressed Kazakhstan's commitment to freedom of speech. Concern about Kazakhstan's respect for individual liberties has already prompted the OSCE to delay a final decision on Astana's bid to chair the organization in 2009. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

Yertysbayev pledged that Kazakhstan would soon take specific steps to improve the country's civil rights framework. "Kazakhstan is today taking specific steps to introduce innovations in the sphere of culture and information, governed by principles of freedom of speech and the individual right to receive information," he said in remarks quoted by Kazinform news agency.

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Kazakhstan: Opposition Complains About Campaign, as Officials Press OSCE Chair Bid

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