Candidates to compete for second place in Kazakhstan's presidential race

Candidates to compete for second place in Kazakhstan's presidential race

Kazakhstan's presidential candidates presented their election programs. Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, nominated by the ruling Nur Otan party, offers fellow citizens "Prosperity for all! Continuity. Justice. Progress." An alternative candidate nominated by the National Patriotic Movement Ult Tagdyry, Amirzhan Kosanov, promises to bring Kazakhstan to the European Union. The interesting thing about the current election is Nursultan Nazarbayev not taking part in it for the first time in the years of the republic's independence. Early presidential elections are scheduled to be held on June 9.

In total, seven people will compete for the main state post. Four of them are nominated by political parties. Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev - by the ruling Nur Otan party (Light of the Fatherland), Zhambyl Akhmetbekov - by the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan, Toleutay Rakhimbekov - by the People's Democratic Patriotic Party Auyl (Aul) and Daniya Yesspayeva - by the Ak Zhol party (Shining Path). The opposition United Social Democratic Party refused not only to nominate its candidate, but even to participate in the election. Three more candidates are from social movements: journalist Amirzhan Kosanov was nominated by the National Patriotic Movement Ult Tagdyry (Destiny of the Nation), chairman of the territorial associations of trade unions of the West Kazakhstan region Amangeldy Taspihov - by the Federation of Trade Unions of Kazakhstan, writer and public figure Sadybekov Tugela - by the Uly Dala Kyrandary republican movement (Eagles of the Great Steppe).

Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev has the greatest chances to win the elections. He is not only the current president of the country, but also the leader of the nation Nursultan Nazarbayev's successor. In his election platform, he paid special attention to the continuity of the first president's policy. His 'Prosperity for all! Continuity. Justice. Progress' program consists of three blocks and is designed to demonstrate stability, social solidarity, inter-ethnic harmony and religious tolerance.

Despite the predictability of the plebiscite, public interest in the elections is high. After all, the second place will provide its holder with privileges and bonuses to continue his political career. In this situation, several candidates attract the most attention. In particular, Amirzhan Kosanov, nominated by the National Patriotic Movement Ult Tagdyry, who positions himself as an opposition candidate. "He, however, cannot be called a single candidate from the opposition forces, which for are currently divided for various reasons and do not have the same influence. However, given his background and the good work of the election headquarters, Kosanov is able to mobilize a significant part of the protest electorate in his support," director of the Alternativa Center for Topical Studies Andrei Chebotarev wrote on Facebook.

In his election program, Kosanov promises to strengthen the European vector of Kazakhstan's development, fully de-communize and "de-Sovietize" the citizens' minds, to strengthen the role of the Kazakh language as a unifying factor of the people of Kazakhstan, to ensure its supremacy in all spheres of society, and to adopt a new law "On the state language" and legally determine the list of professions which require a knowledge of the state language. The politician proposes ethnic Kazakhs to return home and obtain citizenship. Kosanov notes that he plans to make the state truly democratic, legal and unitary. In this regard, he wants to change all the legislative acts, one way or another, contrary to the principles of freedom.

Communist Zhambyl Akhmetbekov, on the contrary, built his program on the refusal "from Western influence and false values." He considers it necessary to integrate economically with neighbors, bring all fugitive oligarchs to justice, fight poverty, as well as introduce fair taxation.

For the first time, the presidential race includes a female candidate - MP Daniya Yesspayeva. Her program consists of three points: the basis of continuous development is competition and mass entrepreneurship; national independence; fight against corruption and deoffshorization. According to Kazakh political analyst Talgat Kaliyev, the participation of a woman in the presidential election is the first experience for Kazakhstan’s politics, so it will be extremely interesting to assess society’s attitude to gender issues in practice.

For some Kazakh citizens, according to Andrei Chebotaryov, these elections are most likely related to the expectation of certain changes, and for others with stability, precluding any sociopolitical upheavals in the face of a change in the country's leadership. But also there are others who are dissatisfied with what is happening, and the fourth, which, on the contrary, are indifferent to all this. However, participation of representatives of the first two categories will be sufficient for voting.

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