Political Coalition, Experts Consider Early Presidential Elections Viable

ASTANA – On Feb. 17, the Kazakhstan 2050 National Coalition of Democratic Forces held a meeting devoted a possible early presidential election in 2015. At the meeting, members of the coalition adopted an appeal to the citizens of Kazakhstan.

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“Due to the strategic vision of Nursultan Nazarbayev, we have a clear and detailed plan of action in the Nurly Zhol programme. This is not only a concrete plan to overcome current difficulties, but also a long-term development plan oriented at joining the 30 most developed countries in the world. It includes the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs, new industries, the modernisation of infrastructure, the construction of millions of square metres of housing [and] the implementation of all social obligations of the population,” the coalition said.

“During this instability in the world economy, forceful, decisive and innovative actions are demanded. Holding the presidential election later this year will create the necessary conditions that will allow the government and society to focus on the implementation of the Nurly Zhol programme, which aligns with the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy and the national idea Mangilik El,” the coalition’s appeal said.

The coalition is a platform for dialogue representing the interests of various social groups and includes several political parties.

Elsewhere, political scientists, journalists and public leaders expressed their opinion of the Feb. 14 initiative by the Council of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (APK) to hold a presidential election earlier than currently scheduled, the end of 2016. The views of a group of experts interviewed by Khabar TV were aired on Feb. 17.

Expert and political analyst Marat Shibutov thinks that the APK initiative is politically justified. According to him, in addition to a number of obvious reasons, there is the international situation, which requires the mobilisation of both society and state structures. “First of all, there is a large-scale economic crisis. In this regard, our government once again needs to reconfirm its legitimacy and its mandate of confidence. The presidential election could be an indicator. The economic component is one of the most important aspects of the whole country’s development,” Shibutov said in the Khabar TV interview.

Daniyar Ashimbayev, political scientist andeditor-in-chief of “Who’s Who in Kazakhstan,” said he believes that the electoral campaign could be a good tool for the implementation of major economic programmes. “Foreign policy is becoming complicated. There is a world crisis, which is seriously affecting Kazakhstan. The conditions of the election process will help confirmthe correctness of the policy of the President,” he said.

Dauren Kuat, well-known journalist and editor-in-chief of the information portal Abai.kz, calls the APK initiativea requirement of the time. In his view, the world is currently unstable. Therefore, in addition to purely economic measures, there is a need for other tools to maintainstability.

“I personally think the APK’s appeal to the society, public institutions, state bodies and all people of Kazakhstan arose out of necessity. Because of these difficult times, with the world out of balance, changes are in process. I think that our people can unanimously show their power and unite in order to achieve a common goal. … I hope the political campaign that will be held in our country will end with a good result,” Kuat said.

Retired General Bakhytzhan Yertayev, representative of the public association of veterans, said, “The elections are one of the most important demonstrations of a democratic society. And the personal involvement of each citizen in this process will decide the future of our country. By taking this step, we greatly influence measures to promote economic and social spheres, the further growth of wages, pensions and scholarships.”

Talgat Mamashev, first deputy chairman of the World Association of Kazakhs, said “We support the initiative to hold the elections. We believe that in these difficult times we must stand together to solve this crisis successfully.”

Askhat Suleimenov, chairman of the board and executive director of the Institute on the Green Economy, said, “Kazakhstan has become one of the few countries to have maintained a positive tendency of economic growth, not reduced the employment rate and fulfilled all its social obligations.”

Some Russian experts have agreed with the APK’s decision and said they will support it at all state levels. Andrey Kazantsev, head of the Analytical Centre for International Research, commented, “I think it is the right decision. In my view it will be supported by all state bodies and people, because of the globally difficult economic situation that puts pressure on Kazakhstan.”

According to Khabar.kz, Turkish political scientists have also said that holding early elections in Kazakhstan will unite the nation as well as strengthen Kazakhstan’s position among Turkic-speaking countries.

“I completely support this initiative. The process of elections requires a lot of spending. A Parliamentary election will take place next year in Kazakhstan. It is impossible to hold the presidential and parliamentary elections in one year,” Alihan Hasanoğlu said.

 

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