Nazarbayev re-elected: Kazakhstan’s incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been returned to power after winning yesterday’s snap election with 97 .7% of the vote. The other two presidential candidates – Turgun Syzdykov and Abelgazi Kusainov – won 1.6%and 0.7% respectively. The election was brought forward from 2016 to give Nazarbayev a clear mandate to concentrate on his agenda for the next five years in the context of what the Kazakh Assembly described as “conditions of growing global economic crisis and a complex international agenda” and the result was never seriously in doubt.
Nazarbayev set out that agenda in a presidential address to the nation last November. “The next years will be a time of global tests for the world, and for us too,” he said at the time. “Not all states will be able to adequately go through this stage. This frontier will be crossed only by strong, united nations and countries.” Nazarbayev’s strategy for crossing this frontier includes:
- Economic diversification and the active development of Kazakhstan’s non-oil sector as set out in ‘Nurly Zhol- The Path into the Future’ program, involving the creation of three or four new export products
- Democratisation of the country’s political structure
- Raising the levels of professionalism and probity within the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, and securing the rule of law
- Creating a modern, professional and autonomous state apparatus, and the elimination of nepotism, protectionism and corruption
- Developing a national Kazakh identity centred on the principle of citizenship rather than on racial, ethnic, religious or social affiliations