Cheney's Crude Pal

Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev oversees a parliamentary vote blasted as unfair

Intimidation of voters seems to be working well in one of Dick Cheney's favorite countries, Kazakhstan. The AP reported today that "Kazakhstan voted for a largely toothless Parliament on Sunday in an election marred by low turnout, widespread irregularities, and a climate of intimidation." See this previous Bush Beat item for background on Cheney's link to the bubbling Kazakhgate scandal, and check out Eurasianet's latest story on the phony Kazakhstan vote engineered by dictator and Cheney pal Nursultan Nazarbayev.

This was no surprise. Before the election, Human Rights Watch criticized the dictatorship for harassing its political opponents.

By the way, that Kazakhgate scandal, in which major U.S. oil companies and pols are likely to get ink, won't start gushing in the mainstream press until after the November 2 election: As expected, the trial of James Giffen has been delayed until January, much to the relief of Cheney, who was on Nazarbayev's Oil Advisory Board before becoming Bush's Geppetto.

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