Elections to the Kazakhstan Parliament were marked by widespread fraud and
intimidation.In Uralsk the left candidate gained 69% of the vote according
to local observers but the official result registered only 48%. This means
he requires a second vote as the 50% barrier had not been exceeded.
Although the Parliament has 110 deputies, opposition parties were only
allowed ten candidates on their lists. The main opposition party, the
communist party even according to official statistics won 18% of the vote
and has been given 2 deputies. It won a third in the first past the post
constituency elections in Uralsk.The CP also won control of the Uralsk and
Ust Kamenogorsk local parliaments, cities in which members and
sympathisers of the CWI played a big role in the election campaigns.
Against the background of the elections, the strike at the Mettalist
factory in Uralsk has been continuing. Workers there have not been paid
for 3 years.After new orders were gained by the factory after the Kosova
conflict the factory makes rifles, the workers decided to strike. 5000
took part in the factory meetings. Since the strike
started there have been practically daily street protests and road
Workers prevented a shareholders meeting from going ahead.
They are demanding the complete nationalisation of the factory with the
sacking of the current management and the establishement of workers
control. Privatisation, of the factory, they argue should not be allowed
and the state should finance production.
These demands are in contrast to those raised at a number of other recent
disputes in neighbouring Russia (ie in Vyborg) where the Communist Party
has demanded the creation of "people's enterprises". This slogan is in
reality a cover for the commercial interests who are struggling for
control of these plants.
Comrades and supporters of the CWI are leading the strike committee at the
Metallist factory and ask for meassages of solidarity to be sent to:
417000 Republic of Kazakhstan,
Uralsk, ul. Udrinskaya d.1/1 kv. 9.
Co-President of Strike Committee