Bridge from China to Europe and Back

By Arthur Dunn

Kazakhstan Plans Using Beneficially its Geopolitical Location.

 

The acting head of the state Nursultan Nazarbayev has again won in the snap elections in Kazakhstan with huge breakdown. He gained 97.75% of the votes. The voter turnout comprised the record-breaking amount of 95.22% of all citizens possessing the right to vote. 

 

On April 26th snap Presidential elections were held in Kazakhstan. These are already the second snap elections for the past five years. With great breakdown Nursultan Nazarbayev heading the country for almost 20 years has won the elections. According to the law the first President of the sovereign Kazakhstan can run for elections without limitations. It is grounded with the fact that the citizens of the country associate with the first President of the Republic of Kazakhstan long-desired (for the first time for 300 years) independence and multiple successes for the years of sovereignty.

 

This year for the first time three candidates fought for the first chair of Kazakhstan – Nursultan Nazarbayev, the representative of the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan Turgun Syzdykov and the republic’s trade unions leader Abelgazi Kusainov. At the elections Syzdykov had 1.61% votes and Kusainov – 0.64% taking the second and the third place accordingly.

 

Interesting is that for the first time for the history of all pre-election campaigns of recent years pre-election platforms of the candidates differed strongly.

 

Nursultan Nazarbayev suggested economic reforms to the voters. In particular his program included all state strategies of middle and long term development of several past years. However the key platform was the anti-crisis program “Nurlyzhol – Way to Future” suggested by N. Nazarbayev yet last autumn. It constituted the foundations of his pre-elections promises.

 

Particularly, in covers the politics of the government on creation of a big number of jobs via infrastructure projects accomplishment. Including roads construction. Kazakhstan plans using beneficially its geopolitical location becoming the “bridge” for cargoes from China to Europe and back. Besides the strategy of Nazarbayev suggests gradual restructuring of economy and weakening of the “Dutch Disease” (today the budget of Kazakhstan ismore than one third dependent from oil export).

 

Together with that the pre-election program of Nursultan Nazarbayev included suggestion to improve social situation in the country: modernization of education and health care, people’s well-being growth. At the moment Kazakhstan is included into the list of competitive country of the world and reached the level of living of the countries with middle-level income (GDP per capita in 2014 comprised USD 13 000). Kazakhstan plans to join the thirty developed countries of the world in the near future (till 2050). 

 

No matter how ambitious these plans may seem the people believe N. Nazarbayev. The case is that yet acting and already newly-elected President has never failed Kazakhstani people: all the intentions have been accomplished. And today Kazakhstan is one of the most successfully developing countries of the former USSR.

 

Except for that the people of Kazakhstan associate peace in the country and the politics of tolerance between 140 nationalities living in the state, exceptionally with the personality of Nursultan Nazarbayev.

 

Moreover opinion polls demonstrated that till the moment there is no politician in Kazakhstan who could be able to support stability in the state so successfully in case of his or her coming to power. 

 

As for pre-elections programs of the other candidates, they were not of large scale.

 

The candidate from the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan Turgun Syzdykov staked on anti-West theses besides communist slogans. Thus he was against dissemination of western culture including TV and movies. He stated that the products of Hollywood  “spread the standards of easy and careless life, filled with fraud and faintness”. He also criticized wrong diet in western countries and the problem of youth mentoring. For Kazakhstani youth Syzdykov intended to offer the “chance for self-fulfillment”, “equal start opportunities, effective social lifts and high public ideals”. However, he suggested nothing that would constitute a barrier for these “wrong things” penetration in Kazakhstan. The very pre-elections campaign of the communist candidate had the shortest pre-elections platform not only during these but all earlier presidential elections held in Kazakhstan and comprised only half a page of the text. 

 

Another candidate – the Chairman of the Association of Trade Unions of Kazakhstan Abelgazi Kusainov followed the way of Albert Gore: he chose ecology as his direction. “In the era of technical progress “green” sphere becomes even more vulnerable. That is why our primary task should cover rational and planned use of natural resources, environmental protection from contamination introduction of the planned system of state control”, he said during the meetings with the voters. He called to “enhance focus to the matters of nature protections and assurance of rational use of natural resources. To establish regular control for the use of lands, waters, forests, subsoil and other natural values. To give more attention to the issues of prevention of soil contamination, surface and subsoil waters, as well as  preservation of water protective and general protective functions of woods, preservation and reproduction of plant and animal species, prevention of atmospheric air contamination. To introduce the system of industrial safety”. The same as for Gore the “green” issue did not help to win the elections to Kazakhstani candidate. 

 

Such narrow direction of pre-election campaigns probably grounded such low number of the voters who supported these candidates. The only thing which united all three candidates was unconditional support of the ideas of Eurasian integration in the frameworks of the Eurasian Economic Union. Against the background of economic problems of the biggest EAEU-member  Russia many people supported the benefit of such integration. Except for that national patriots has lately played on possible loss of sovereignty in case of strengthening of integration processes and intensification of lobbying Moscow's interests. However  at the official level including also politicians during the pre-elections race, an option of refusal from further operation within the frameworks of the EAEU was not observed.

 

Nursultan Nazarbayev has once again won the fifth regular elections of Kazakhstan. This once again proves the opinion that yet the people of the country do not see politicians to trust their future to.

 

 

 

  

29.04.2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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