Bektenov’s Nomination for Kazakh PM: Catalyst for Reform and Anti-Corruption Drive

ASTANA — Olzhas Bektenov’s nomination for the position of Prime Minister of Kazakhstan by the Amanat party on Feb. 6 has sparked discussions among Kazakh political analysts. Kazakh experts have weighed in on the significance of his appointment and the potential implications for the country’s political landscape, reported Tengrinews news agency.

Photo credit: Akorda.

“With a high level of education, excellent organizational skills and a strong work ethic, I believe that he possesses ample potential to successfully execute the assigned tasks. With your approval, we are confident that Olzhas Abayevich will exert his utmost effort to accomplish the tasks entrusted to him,” Tokayev said. 

Political expert Gaziz Abishev wrote in his Telegram post that he sees Bektenov’s candidacy as part of a larger strategy aimed at combating corruption within the government.

“Bektenov is being nominated to the government with an obvious agenda: a decisive return of assets and a merciless anti-corruption cleanup,” Abishev wrote. 

He underscored Bektenov’s experience in regional governance and highlighted his tenure in the Anti-Corruption Agency, where he targeted corrupt practices.

Abishev noted Bektenov’s pivotal role in reforming the President’s Executive Office after being appointed by President Tokayev last year. He emphasized Bektenov’s proactive approach to streamlining processes and reducing bureaucracy while spearheading efforts to recover unlawfully acquired assets.

Commenting on Bektenov’s political trajectory, Abishev suggested that his emergence into national politics under President Tokayev signifies a departure from the old political guard. He asserts that Bektenov’s nomination reflects Tokayev’s confidence in his abilities and integrity.

Expert Sabina Sadiyeva focused on Bektenov’s low public profile and his compatibility with the demands of leading complex reforms in her Telegram post. According to her, it will be interesting to see how Bektenov will navigate his reserved demeanor while implementing crucial nationwide reforms.

Political expert Daniyar Ashimbayev, in his Telegram post, described Bektenov as a strong and assertive person, noting that his nomination took many by surprise. Ashimbayev suggested that Bektenov’s previous role as head of the President’s Executive Office provided him with valuable experience and insight.

“He has developed good practice in the fight against corruption, the return of illegally withdrawn assets, and monitoring the execution of the President’s orders,” he wrote.

Ashimbayev underscored Bektenov’s reputation for integrity and effectiveness in governance, setting a promising tone for his tenure as Prime Minister.

“The criteria by which he comes to the government are partly the same as when he was appointed to the post of head of the Executive Office of the President. The President needs a strong and decisive organizer, not involved in scandals, who can, as a kind of external manager, optimize the operation of the system and aim it at specific results,” Ashimbayev noted. 

Political analyst Urazgali Selteyev, in his Telegram post, highlighted Bektenov’s unexpected rise to prominence. He believes that his qualities as a decisive reformer and a firm leader align with the current needs of Kazakhstan’s economy. He anticipates that Bektenov will play a crucial role in deepening the process of economic demonopolization and enhancing regional governance.

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