May 8, 1963 |
Kuigan, Kurshim District, East Kazakhstan Province, Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan|
|Occupation||Politician and businessman|
Galymzhan Zhakiyanov (Kazakh: Ғалымжан Жақиянов) is a Kazakh businessman and politician. He owns several companies in Kazakhstan and has served as the governor of Semipalatinsk province. He was imprisoned from 2002-2006 on charges of abuse of office. He was born in 1963 in Eastern Kazakhstan. He graduated from Moscow Bauman Moscow State Technical University in 1986 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. G. Zhakiyanov worked for a time as a manager at a Soviet military plant. Right before the breakup of the Soviet Union, he started with other partners own business operating a coal and natural resources company in Kazakhstan.
In 1994, G. Zhakiyanov was appointed governor of Semipalatinsk Province in the newly independent Republic of Kazakhstan. From 1997 until the end of 2001, he served as Governor of the province of Pavlodar.
In 2001, G. Zhakiyanov along with Oraz Jandosov, vice premier-minister RK, Mukhtar Ablyazov, minister of industry, Nurzhan Subhanberdin, the president of Kazkommerzbank, Tolen Tokhtassynov, the member of Parlament RK, and other top politicians and businessmen of the Republic founded and later was elected as the chairman of the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DCK). It was a political movement which advocated democratic reform in Kazakhstan, including multi-party political campaigning, free and open elections, and an independent media and judiciary. The DCK opposed the authoritarian politics of President Nazarbaev, and as organizers of opposition to his regime, G. Zhakiyanov and his supporters were subjected to repression for their political convictions.
In 2002, G. Zhakiyanov was arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison for abuse of office. Many international human rights organizations and governments, including those of the US and the EU, declared the charges against G. Zhakiyanov to be politically motivated and recognized him as a political prisoner. He was released from prison in 2006.
The same year, G. Zhakiyanov became chairman of the Civil Society Foundation.
In 1990 he established with Akezhan Kazhegeldin (later was the premier-minister of Kazakhstan in 1994-1987), the Semey Corp. and became its president.
In 2008, he started new business ventures in China and Mongolia related to coal and iron ore mining. G. Zhakiyanov is now the chairman of the board of two companies: MECAP Ltd., and ALGT Ltd.
G. Zhakiyanov got married to Karlygash Zhakiyanova in 1984. Karlygash worked as a school teacher and as a manager in non-government organizations. In 2002, K. Zhakiyanova participated in the political movement DCK, founded the human rights organization Pravosoznanie which contributed significantly to the cause of releasing political prisoners in Kazakhstan. Currently, she assists her husband with his business activities in China.
G. Zhakiyanov has two sons - Berik and Elezhan. Berik (1985) graduated from the University of Texas in 2008 and now studying at Harvard. Elezhan (1993) is studying at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, class of 2016.