Akejan Kajegeldin

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Akejan Kajegeldin
Kajegeldin in 2020
2nd Prime Minister of Kazakhstan
In office
14 October 1994 – 10 October 1997
PresidentNursultan Nazarbayev
First DeputyNygmetjan Esengarin
Vitaly Mette
Akhmetzhan Yessimov
Preceded bySergey Tereshchenko
Succeeded byNurlan Balgimbayev
First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan
In office
18 December 1993 – 14 October 1994
Prime MinisterSergey Tereshchenko
Preceded byDaulet Sembaev
Succeeded byNygmetjan Esengarin
Chairman of the Republican People's Party
In office
17 December 1998 – 25 December 2001
DeputyAmirjan Qosanov
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Personal details
Born (1952-03-27) 27 March 1952 (age 71)
Georgiyevka (now Qalbatau), Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union
Military service
AllegianceSoviet Union
Years of service1974–1978

Akejan Kajegeldin (Kazakh: Әкежан Мағжанұлы Қажыгелдин, Äkejan Mağjanūly Qajygeldin; born 27 March 1952)[1] is a Kazakh politician who served as the 2nd Prime Minister of Kazakhstan from 12 October 1994 until his resignation on 10 October 1997, ostensibly for health reasons,[2] 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.[2]

Kajegeldin lives in the west in exile. Adam Albion of Radio Free Europe characterized Kajegeldin's efforts at democratizing Kazakhstan as "defiant, confrontational, and openly scornful of the idea" that Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan, "will ever share power willingly."[3]


Digital Freedom Network credits Kajegeldin'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."[1]

In 1998 he was elected President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan.[1]

The publishing of his book, Kazakhstan: The Right to Choose, led to a political rift with President Nazarbayev. The rift widened when Kajegeldin's 21st Century Freedom Foundation sponsored amendments to the constitution regarding free elections.[1] Kajegeldin 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, Kajegeldin founded the Republican People's Party (QRHP) and attempted to challenge Nazarbayev in the 1999 Kazakh presidential election. During the campaign, Kajegeldin, along with his associates were beaten, harassed, and stalked. An assassination attempt was made towards him by a gunfire outside the city of Almaty. Kajegeldin was eventually barred from participating in the elections due to his involvement in an unregistered organization of the Movement for Honest Elections.[4]

Kajegeldin attempted to return to Kazakhstan to attend his father-in-law's 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 Kajegeldin complained of heart pains. He was taken to a Kremlin hospital for treatment and was held there for 4 days until Kajegeldin 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 Kajegeldin. A telephone conversion instead was held between the two parties where Khitrin told Kajegeldin that he could return to Kazakhstan "voluntarily".[5] Later that day, Kajegeldin was freed of charges and was allowed to leave Russia. According to Kajegeldin 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 Kajegeldin could return to Kazakhstan freely without having fears of being arrested.[6] Kajegeldin himself denied the charges and said they were motivated by politics.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "People in Prison, Akejan Kajegeldin]". Archived from the original on 2004-06-08. Retrieved 2009-07-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b Kazakhstan's Kazhegeldin conspicuous by his absence Asia Times
  3. ^ "Government pressure in run-up to Kazakh Council Elections". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-10-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
  4. ^ "Detention of Kazakh Opposition Leader Condemned". Human Rights Watch. 1999-09-10. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  5. ^ "Бывший премьер: арест, больница и другое..., 15 сентября 1999 года". www.neweurasia.info (in Russian). 1999-09-15. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  6. ^ Hogan, Beatrice (1999-09-16). "Kazakhstan: Russian Detention Of Opposition Leader Ends". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2020-05-04.
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Kazakhstan
Succeeded by