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New mass media law turned down - Kazakhstani president

The law on the mass media adopted by the parliament recently is turned down. This was said by Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbaev at the 3-rd Eurasian media forum (EMF) in Almaty on Thursday.

The president stressed that the Constitution Council on Wednesday recognized a number of norms of the draft as not corresponding to the Constitution.

"Yesterday night I came back from the foreign visit. I received the decision of the Constitution Council that recognized some norms of the draft as not corresponding to the Constitution", Nazarbaev said.

"As known, I, as the head of the state, have a right to bring in objection i.e. veto the decision of the Council. And if the Constitution Council does not overcome my veto with 2/3 of its votes, the law will be considered adopted", he said. "But taking into account purely legal aspects of the situation, taking into account the opinion of the public and journalists, I decided not to bring objection to the decision of the Constitution Council", Nazarbaev stressed.

Therefore, he summarized, "the new law on mass media is considered as turned down".

As reported, Kazakhstani president directed a new law on mass media adopted by the parliament on March 18, to the Constitution Council on March 31. According to the Constitution, the Council decides within a month's term since the submission date. The term can be shortened to 10 days if the issue is urgent.

The republic's Information Ministry, the draft's developer, said earlier that the document has more perfect mechanism of strict obeisance of the Constitution by the mass media. At the same time the representatives of a number of mass media, lawyers, and experts of domestic and foreign political, public and journalist organizations criticized the draft. Moreover the leaders of four parties in Kazakhstan - Ak Zhol, Asar, Aul and Patriot's party addressed the president asking to veto the mass media law.

April 22, 2004 Interfax Kazakhstan


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