Akezhan Kazhegeldin (Kazakh: Әкежан Мағжанұлы Қажыгелдин, Äkejan Mağjanulı Qajıgeldïn, ٵكەجان ماعجانۇلى قاجىگەلدئن; born on 27 March 1952) 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 now heads the Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan, but 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 Prime Ministership 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. He has since been barred from participating in presidential elections because he participated 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. He denies 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.
- 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. RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
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