Abstract. The article presents an analysis of the political situation ahead of the 2005 presidential elections in Kazakhstan. Assessing the preferences of the Kazakh electorate, the author lists the reasons for the superiority of the incumbent president over his opponents, highlighting the problems of the Kazakhstan opposition. At the same time, the political opposition plays an important role in the state on the road to democratization.
This may seem paradoxical, but almost everyone has said that the opposing parties have spoken about the official start of the election campaign in Kazakhstan, where presidential elections will take place on December 41, which will be determined by the owner of the newly built luxurious residence, Ak Orda. The outcome of the campaign is predetermined, and no one doubts the victory of incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev - even his opponents. In the headquarters of candidates, more and more talk about the struggle for the second place, the owner of which is supposed to automatically become a factor, the presence of which N. Nazarbayev will somehow have to reckon with.
Only two nominees announced their intention to challenge the incumbent president at the elections. These are women who. for the first time in Kazakhstan’s history, intend to run for the highest state office: the “clairvoyant” from Almaty and the unemployed from Aktyubinsk, the author of the draft Constitution in verse. However, they failed to pass the required examination for knowledge of the state language. In the Kazakh legislation there is no norm on the examination of candidates for mental health; but even if such extraordinary ladies were at odds with the Kazakh language, they could hardly have collected the number of signatures required for registration.
Excitements within the country are also excluded. For this, there are no economic prerequisites in the country, and the example of neighboring Kyrgyzstan has become a moral justification for repelling revolutionary attempts on the part of the state and that part of the Populationwhichvalues property acquired in recent years which is generally small, but privately owned.
In the commentary of the analysts concerning the phenomenon of the Kazakhstani voter, who will again give its preference to Nursultan Nazarbayev, there is often a formula
IInthis article, the author analyzes the pre-election situation on the eve of the presidential elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan, which took place on December 4, 2005 “being determines consciousness”, which is extremely relevant in Kazakh society. For the people living in an open information society and knowledgeable about the state of affairs in the world and the region, the absence of upheavals and the “iron” routine during the past transitional period, even if the democratic processes did not go as some wanted it, is the best recommendation.
Especially now, when most of them have acquired property and have seen real prospects. Nazarbayev's predictability, his ability to manage the situation for Kazakhstanis, is more valuable than participation in experiments to improve what is good for half, and for a quarter - not bad or, at worst, tolerable. At the same time, the remaining part of the population (mainly state employees), being educated people, perfectly understand that no new power under the current economic conditions will solve their problems overnight.
In addition, people are encouraged by the proposals of Nazarbayev to correct the situation in the social sphere. To solve the problems of teachers, doctors, students, disabled people, single mothers and pensioners, a record amount of money has been allocated from the budget - about 800 million dollars. And this is with the 15 million population of Kazakhstan. Almost immediately the incomes of the low-income part of the population increased by 30%. Nazarbayev promised a new increase - next year.
Of course, Nazarbayev outperforms his main opponents with his ability to communicate with people. He has the ability to take over the audience - whether it's a factory workshop, an audience of a major forum or viewers.
In general, there was no social group left in the society, whose representatives would not have heard the answer to the questions of interest to it. During the year Nazarbayev traveled to all regions of the country; and participants in formal and informal meetings with the President were representatives of all social strata - from children to the elderly, from teachers to large entrepreneurs. The effect of the permanent presence of power on the ground today is provided by the prime minister, who, following the President, travels around the regions and where necessary “exercises leadership on the spot.”
As for the opposition, the propaganda stereotype of the early 1990s, “the people have mercy on weak and offended people” is not effective in Kazakhstan.
Firstly, because times have changed, people have somehow penetrated into the psychology of the free market, where the strongest wins. It is more sympathetic. It is not by chance that Nazarbayev's foreign policy moves, his meetings with representatives of the world's political elite, are the source of great pride among ordinary people. Kazakhstan and its leaders have never before had such weight in the international arena .
Secondly, former high-ranking officials, who at one time did a lot of work in the context of the criticized regime, are weakly associated with the outcast. It is noteworthy that the main part of the propaganda campaign of Nazarbayev's opponents take place around the presently convicted former governor of Pavlodar region, Galymzhan Zhakiyanov, one of the founders of the opposition movement “Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan”. (By the way, Zhakiyanov was once over-exuberantly treated with power). Officially, the grounds for the verdict of the court in the Zhakiyanov case revealed financial irregularities. There are other views on the causes of criminal prosecution. However, in any case, analogies with the Bolsheviks, Narodnaya Volya or repressed members of the Kazakh democratic party “Alash” in this case are not valid. In addition, another co-founder of the DCK - Mukhtar Ablyazov, who has been pardoned - lives well and is engaged in big business dealings. It is obvious that, after the release of Zhakiyanov, and apparently, in the near future this will happen, the opposition will have to create artificial motives in order to act “offended”.
The following circumstance is also important. It is difficult for current opposition members to act as people's tribunes. In the ranks of Nazarbayev's opponents there are former members of the government; but there is also a big businessman whose fortune in the hungry 90s could not have arisen without high patronage.
The presidential candidate from the association called “For a Just Kazakhstan” (so, in its present form, he is “not fair”) - Zharmakhan Tuyakbai headed the Majilis of the Parliament and was the deputy chairman of the Otan party. The start of his oppositional career was promoted by the news that in the new parliament, the first chair will have to give way. Immediately followed by a loud statement about the “unjust” parliamentary elections. Even earlier in the “unjust” Kazakhstan Tuyakbai was the Procurator General.
There is among the opposition and representatives of Nazarbayev's headquarters in the 1999 elections representatives of another candidate for the presidency - Alikhan Baimenov.
Most of the comrades in misfortune are unreasonably ambitious, moreover: in different years they were at enmity with each other. In many ways, excessive claims have caused splits of the main opposition parties of Kazakhstan - the Communist, the “Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan” and “Ak Zhol”.
It is noteworthy that among oppositionists it is difficult to find a policy capable of speaking to the audience or directly communicating with the population. Measured against Nazarbayev, they are clearly far away. The role of the main public speaker is taken on by businessman Bulat Abilov. He is ready to answer any question. However this answer will be the same.
In this situation, the opponents of the incumbent president will not even be able to concentrate the voices of the protest electorate, which is a minority. And in addition to Zharmakhan Tuyakbai, Alikhan Baimenov, who split from Ak Zhol together with his brand, is fighting for him, as well as the neocommunist and the Zhirinovsky of Kazakhstan, in one person, MP Yerasyl Abylkasymov. Candidates nominated for the popularization of their forgotten names should not be taken into account.
The publication is expected of an official document summarizing the numerous initiatives of the incumbent president, voiced at different times. It is no coincidence that Nazarbaev's “election program” is often called his speeches in various audiences. This time, the president's real electoral program was developed over two years in the form of sectoral and bloc developments. They were made public and implemented without waiting for the official moment when the president announced his intention to run for the next term. Therefore, the real, acting program of Nazarbayev's candidate is not a set of promises designed for specific elections.
It is difficult to challenge the objective achievements of the country - starting with an annual economic growth of 8-9%. Nazarbayev does not intend to stop at what has been achieved and set the task for the economy of the state with the characteristic scope: for the next 7 years, Kazakhstan must become one of the 50 developed countries of the world that support the modern standards of life of their citizens. By 2012, per capita GDP in the republic should be increased from the current 3-4 thousand dollars to 8-9 thousand dollars, or 2.5 times, and the incomes of the population are doubled. Social benefits to the population and scholarships to students by this date Shouldbe increased by 2.5 times. By 2012, according to Nazarbayev, the pension savings of citizens will be increased by almost 1 trillion tenge, which, in his opinion, will increase the average monthly pension by 1.5-2 times. In the next seven years, special attention will be paid to the growth of salaries of federal officers.
Over the next seven years, Nazarbayev intends to devote himself to achieving full diversification of the economy, overcoming its dependence on the export of hydrocarbons and metals, although by 2012 more than IOO million tons of oil will have been extracted in the country, which is twice as much as now. Knowledgebased and high-tech industries will become a priority for the country's economy. At the same time, for seven years the funding of research and development activities should increase by not less than 25 times. Small and medium businesses as the foundation of the economy of Kazakhstan will form 40% of the country's GDP.
On September 1, opening the next session of the parliament, Nursultan Nazarbayev made several notable statements.
First of all, he promised to do the best to ensure that the presidential election “will be absolutely free, fair, transparent, and results will not cause a shred of doubt neither among Kazakhstanis or the international community”. Many considered this a reaction to the wish contained in the personal message of US President George W. Bush, who made it clear that Kazakhstan is becoming the main regional preference for Washington. However, it is clear that transparent elections do not threaten Nazarbayev. On the contrary, in the present conditions, when his rating is very high, and the opposition has shown complete inconsistency, the elections are simply necessary for Nazarbayev.
Secondly, Nazarbayev reaffirmed Kazakhstan's commitment to a policy of openness and transparency in relations with foreign companies working in the field of subsoil use. Nazarbayev was allowed to play on the opposition's field by the fact that Kazakhstan s business has accumulated enough power to compete for the development of new deposits. A law was passed that gives the state, in fact, control functions in transactions of purchase and sale of assets to private foreign companies developing Kazakh minerals.
Thirdly, Nazarbayev announced his intention to create and lead the state commission for the development and Concretization of the six-year program of democratic reforms. Work with it, he invited representatives of all political parties, social movements and non-governmental organizations.
Fourthly, Nazarbayev confirmed the intention to carry out exactly those reforms, the need for which the opposition points out. This is the development of local self-government; and continuation of the process of delineation of powers between central and local executive bodies, which in the long run will create the possibility of transition to the election of akims (governors). In addition, the rights and control functions of the parliament will be strengthened, its role in the formation of the government will increase; and it is obvious that the number of deputies of both chambers will increase.
Fifthly, Nazarbayev put the early ratification of international human rights instruments as a priority task of the parliament and stated about further expansion of cooperation with the OSCE, including taking into account plans for him to become chairman of this organization in 2009. He called this task “systemic, meeting both the domestic political and foreign policy goals of the country”. Nazarbayev instructed his administration “to develop a comprehensive program for the preparation of Kazakhstan's chairmanship in the OSCE, which would impose on the government, relevant ministries and departments relevant obligations to implement it”.
At this point, you should stop. Until recent the OSCE was the main international organization criticizing Kazakhstan and its leadership. The unexpected move with the idea of chairmanship of the OSCE was first received with disbelief. Nazarbayev's proposal has begun to be treated seriously only today. Numerous international counterparts positively assess the chances of Kazakhstan, especially taking into account the directions of political modernization promulgated by the president.
However, one must know Nazarbayev before doubting his ability to achieve seemingly unrealistic goals. There are many examples of this. To take at least the “Kazakhstan-2030” Strategy - in the difficult 1997, when only ways out of the system crisis were outlined, the Kazakh president planned the stages of the state development until 2030. Then the skeptics were outnumbered the optimists. But now it turns out that the Kazakhstani economy outstrips the “covenants” of this strategy on certain positions, in particular, questions about the terms of doubling and tripling the GDP.
The transfer of the capital to Astana was called an idee fixe. But now no-one wants to return to the provincial Tselinograd.
Nursultan Nazarbayev, who in 1994 proposed a plan for creating the EurasianUnionof States, seemed to be too ambitious. Today, he can present concrete results to the skeptics - the EurAsEC and CACO, also, built according to his model. Therefore, Kazakhstan's chairmanship of the OSCE, strange as it may sound today, is not such a fantasy. Nazarbayev proposed at the first stage to hold a special international seminar under the auspices of a fiercely critical organization. In it, Nazarbayev suggests studying “the unique experience accumulated by Kazakhstan in strengthening peace and stability, inter-confessional accord in a society that has Europeanfeatures and Asian traditions”. This experience, the Kazakh president believes, will help the OSCE “substantially enrich its understanding of the diversity of the modern world and various ways Ofbuilding an open, democratic society”.
The existing unique opportunity for consolidation of the opposition was almost lost. Splits and disassociations inside the opposition camp are explained by the oppositionists themselves, of course, the insidiousness of the writers from power. But, making such statements, the opposition signs in insolvency. In any country, the grouping in power is interested in keeping the power, and, of course, political technologists use for this purpose any permitted means, including the game “on someone else's field”. The opposition, having a sufficient number of its own political strategists, once worked for the government, and even during the electoral campaigns, lost all the parties, which in principle were calculated to the smallest detail.
In the parliamentary elections, the liberal- democratic Ak Zhol considered it shameful to unite with potential allies. And the pre-election unification of the Communists and the liberal bourgeoisie duly presented by DCK looked more than ridiculous. It is clear that the opposition found itself without parliamentary seats on its own fault.
No less unique was the opposition in the period between the elections, when it became known that the presidential campaign will be held this year. The fate of the sole Ak Zhol party belonging to the parliamentary seat was decided in such a way that in the end they lost their open political platform and quarreled until the party split. The squabble between the co-chairmen was conducted in the style of “the fool himself’. And it was not in the quiet of the offices. “Open letters” to each other regularly poured into all the media. And it is understandable that as a result, the desired protest electorate parted among the disputants, and partly simply turned away from the previously attractive party.
Today the former co-chairman of the party, Alikhan Baimenov, dealing with organizational issues and local organizations, acts as an independent candidate; and the remaining supporters of the liberal idea are campaigning for Zharmakhan Tuyakbai, a candidate for the movement “For a Just Kazakhstan”. In this camp, besides them, are gathered interesting politicians. From communist-internationalists, supporters of reprivatization, to well-known national radicals who see the solution of all problems in bringing routine to the ethnic principle.
Hence, a rather inconsistent set of slogans for the election campaign. There was an attempt to unite them in the draft of the new Constitution. Although the authors of the project understand perfectly well that it is impossible to combine in practice the wishes of the bearers of opposing ideas. On the other hand, who is interested in reading such a complex document as the Constitution, although in the draft? If s certainly not the representatives of the social environment, called the “protest electorate”.
The opposition is promoting the thesis of illegal privatization. A Public Commission was established to study the process of forming a class of private owners of Kazakhstan. But here the ill luck. Active privatization in Kazakhstan was overseen by former Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, who is now in emigration. Only him could act as the spiritual father of anti-Nazarbayev forces. Only these forces actively exploit the topic, directly related to the activities of the former prime minister, who, having the salary of a federal officer, for several years built up a capital capable of providing comfortable “political emigration” in the “advanced countries of the West”.
The question arises: where was the single candidate for presidency, Zharmakhan Tuyakbai, who headed the Public Commission in those years? In investigative bodies and structures of the prosecutor's supervision, and not on the last roles.
Against this backdrop, Nazarbayev's social program seems to be winning, according to which budget money is distributed not per capita, but targeted. And it is going to improve the living conditions of vulnerable groups of the population.
The proposal of the opposition to immediately move to a general election of akims - the governors of the country's regions - crumbles due to the need to first delimit the republican and local budgets, which, in fact, the government is now engaged in.
Special sympathy among the population was not causedby spontaneous rallies of “self-invaders” of the land, with which the opposition is actively working. Law-abiding citizens see in them representatives of the marginalized part of the nation, whose speeches do not promise anything good.
It is characteristic that the West did not help the Kazakh opposition. Condoleezza Rice reaffirmed Washington's readiness to strengthen its strategic partnership with Kazakhstan “as the universally recognized leader of the Central Asian region” and declared the United States' unconditional support for “the program of full-scale socio-political reforms announced by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, which is the best development model for other states of Central- Asian region”. To the tirade of one of the active oppositionists regarding the numerous shortcomings of the Nazarbayev regime, she replied: “If the opposition politicians in the country have the opportunity to speak in the same room with the president and criticize him, then democracy exists.”
Nazarbayev's opponents still have one tried and true method - the creation of conflict situations. But this is also a sign of weakness. Here the policy is not for the sympathy of the population, but rather for the attention of international observers, who this time in Kazakhstan will have a record number. Specificity of the moment is that any unauthorized rally can legally be designated as a meeting with voters. Probably, it is in this connection that personnel replacements were conducted in the power bloc of the country. It is possible that the authorities will have to “patronize” and behind the scenes guard the opposition activists from possible excesses in the pre-election period. After all, despite the inconsistency, the opposition in its current form is needed, at least for the reason that its availability is an indispensable attribute of the state, which intends to build a political system “in accordance with generally accepted democratic standards”.