Akezhan Kazhegeldin (Kazakh: Әкежан Мағжанұлы Қажыгелдин, Ákejan Maǵjanuly Qajygeldın; born 27 March 1952) is a Kazakh politician served as the 2nd Prime Minister of Kazakhstan from 12 October 1994 until his resignation on 10 October 1997, ostensibly for health reasons, though many saw it as an act protesting authoritarianism in Kazakhstan. He has accused President Nazarbayev of authoritarianism, nepotism, and indifference to violations of human rights.
|2nd Prime Minister of Kazakhstan|
14 October 1994 – 10 October 1997
|First Deputy||Nygmetjan Esengarin|
|Preceded by||Sergey Tereshchenko|
|Succeeded by||Nurlan Balgimbayev|
|First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan|
18 December 1993 – 14 October 1994
|Prime Minister||Sergey Tereshchenko|
|Preceded by||Daulet Sembaev|
|Succeeded by||Nygmetjan Esengarin|
|Chairman of the Republican People's Party|
17 December 1998 – 25 December 2001
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Office abolished|
|Born||27 March 1952|
Georgiyevka, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union
|Years of service||1974–1978|
Kazhegeldin lives in the west in exile. Adam Albion of Radio Free Europe characterized Kazhegeldin's efforts at democratizing Kazakhstan as "defiant, confrontational, and openly scornful of the idea" that Nursultan Nazarbaev, the President of Kazakhstan, "will ever share power willingly."
Digital Freedom Network credits Kazhegeldin's premiership with establishing a "stable currency, bank system, and privatization programs that led to growth. He worked at attracting foreign investment, and helped to lay groundwork for a stock market."
In 1998 he was elected President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan.
The publishing of his book, Kazakhstan: The Right to Choose, led to a political rift with President Nazarbayev. The rift widened when Kazhegeldin's 21st Century Freedom Foundation sponsored amendments to the constitution regarding free elections. Kazhegeldin has since been barred from participating in presidential elections because of his participation in an unsanctioned demonstration, "an administrative offense."
In April 1998, after he had left the country, the government charged him with tax evasion and illegally buying real estate in Belgium. In December 1998, Kazhegeldin founded the Republican People's Party (QRHP) and attempted to challenge Nazarbayev in the 1999 Kazakh presidential election. During the campaign, Kazhegeldin, along with his associates were beaten, harassed, and stalked. An assassination attempt was made towards him by a gunfire outside the city of Almaty. Kazhegeldin was eventually barred from participating in the elections due to his involvement in an unregistered organization of the Movement for Honest Elections.
Kazhegeldin attempted to return to Kazakhstan to attend his father-in-law funeral and to campaign for the 1999 Kazakh legislative election. At the request of the Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan, he was detained by the Russian police in the Sheremetyevo Airport on 10 September 1999 and was held in custody for 9 hours until Kazhegeldin complained of heart pains. He was taken to a Kremlin hospital for treatment and was held there for 4 days until Kazhegeldin was transferred to a Barvikha Sanatorium on 15 September. Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan Yuri Khitrin and his officials attempted to visit him but were barred at the request of Kazhegeldin. A telephone conversion instead was held between the two parties where Khitrin told Kazhegeldin that he could return to Kazakhstan "voluntarily". Later that day, Kazhegeldin was freed of charges and was allowed to leave Russia. According to Kazhegeldin himself, the reason for his attempted return was due to the fact that the Kazakhstan's Ambassador to United States Bolat Nurgaliyev wrote an article for the Washington Times, stating that Kazhegeldin could return to Kazakhstan freely without having fears of being arrested. Kazhegeldin himself denied the charges and said they were motivated by politics.
- "People in Prison, Akezhan Kazhegeldin]". Archived from the original on 2004-06-08. Retrieved 2009-07-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- Kazakhstan's Kazhegeldin conspicuous by his absence Asia Times
- "Government pressure in run-up to Kazakh Council Elections". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-10-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
- "Detention of Kazakh Opposition Leader Condemned". Human Rights Watch. 1999-09-10. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
- "Бывший премьер: арест, больница и другое..., 15 сентября 1999 года". www.neweurasia.info (in Russian). 1999-09-15. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
- Hogan, Beatrice (1999-09-16). "Kazakhstan: Russian Detention Of Opposition Leader Ends". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
| Prime Minister of Kazakhstan