Top Kazakh Expert Argues People Should See Reforms’ Results Firsthand

ASTANA – Director of Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies (KazISS) Yerkin Tukumov argued the new efforts outlined by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during a March 13 meeting with the heads of government bodies would encompass the economic sphere. 

Director of Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies (KazISS) Yerkin Tukumov. Photo credit:

“Now, it is important that people see the results of the ongoing reforms firsthand. On the other hand, the President absolutely clearly noted that a political culture is needed,” Tukumov said in an interview with Kazinform.

According to Tukumov, the meetings of the President with the government and local authorities are working meetings. But, what the President said in his address is interesting. 

“Not everyone has yet realized that we live in a different political and social reality, but use the old ways as if still being in the old Kazakhstan,” Tukumov said. 

During the meeting, Tokayev criticized the tendency to install monuments to persons known only in one region. 

“The President said we need to change this tradition, we need to take a different approach. We have had enough of sharing and inventing our own regional small-town stories,” Tukumov said. 

He stressed that the Kazakh people have common values, are one people, and share one history and one destiny.

“All these stories damage the idea of a new Just and Fair Kazakhstan. If everyone erects monuments to their ancestors, then our whole country will be studded with these monuments. But it is not the main issue – the main issue is that the President said that our political reforms must sooner or later transform into socio-economic reforms. And the parliamentary elections provide a serious foundation for further economic growth and diversification,” Tukumov said.

In his opinion, the new Parliament must become a powerful political institution.

“There is great hope for it now. It is not by chance that the President tells this to the akims [mayors and governors], because parliamentary elections should be held in the regions, and there is no need for any excesses. Everything should be honest and transparent. Elections should be held not only for parliament but also for maslikhats [local representative bodies] – this is the most important political institution,” he added. 

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