Kazakh government receives ‘F’

Kazakh government receives ‘F’

Yesterday, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, dismissed the government of Bakytzhan Sagintayev characterising its works as unsatisfactory. According to the head of state, there are no positive changes and concrete results in a number of sectors of Kazakhstan’s economy. On February 27th,  at the Congress of the Nur Otan party, the new measures to strengthen social support and improve the quality of life of citizens will be announced.

In his statement, Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that despite the initiated structural reforms and adopted programs (Five institutional reforms, the Third Modernization and the Nation Plan 100 concrete steps), the implementation of which should have led to a dramatic increase in the share of SMEs, a decrease in the share of the public sector in the economy, ‘clearing’ of banks and increasing confidence in the courts and law enforcement systems, the positive changes have not been achieved in many areas of the economy. The GDP growth is mainly achieved due to the raw materials.

Meanwhile, both the government and the heads of the regions received all the necessary powers and independence after the 2017 constitutional reform. However, "in many areas of the economy, despite the adoption of  laws and the government’s decisions, positive changes have not been achieved," Nazarbayev said. ”The GDP growth is mainly achieved due to the raw materials. But the government, together with the National Bank, failed to fully create real incentives and tools for qualitative growth of the economy. The analysis of the implementation of the state programs showed that they are being implemented, but there are no concrete results in many important areas,” the statement reads.

According to the president, the creation of new workplaces is not productive enough, especially in the countryside. Small and medium enterprises did not become a growth driver, their development did not become the main task of akims and ministers.

The head of state also noted that the funds available to the government and authorities on the ground are “not spent on purpose.” In this regard, it is planned to establish a special governing body.

But the president described the inability to work with citizens and formalism in supporting socially vulnerable groups of people as the weakest point of the government, ministers and regional officials’ activities. The new government, Nazarbayev stressed, will, first of all, have to work out effective steps to raise the standard of living and stimulate the economy.

"At the upcoming February 27th Congress of the Nur Otan party, a number of measures will be proposed to strengthen social support and improve the quality of life of people, for which considerable funds will be allocated from the budget and the National Fund," Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

The researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, a candidate of historical sciences Alexander Vorobyev notes that the resignation of the government of Kazakhstan is overdue. However, it was quite predictable - the society and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev personally have a negative image of the Cabinet’s work.

"The government of Bakytzhan Sagintayev worked for quite a long time, since September 2016. And it cannot be said that it acted badly. The Cabinet worked in a very difficult time - during the period of turbulence in the commodity markets, the increasing sanction pressure on Russia. These negative factors almost immediately reflected on the situation in the Kazakhstani economy and the rate of the national currency - the tenge. As a result, the country has been experiencing an increase in social discontent during this time. It was twice as difficult to solve different issues in such a period,” Alexander Vorobyev told Vestnik Kavkaza.

In general, according to the expert, Sagintayev completed the assigned tasks. Under his premiership, the international exhibition EXPO-2017 important for the nation was held in the country. Of course, he and his team made many mistakes during this time. The Kazakh society did not see a rise in living standards. The responsibility for this was assigned to the Prime Minister and his subordinates. Sintayev’s weakness was his inability to fully develop the coordinated work of various elements of the executive's machine he headed. The Prime Minister became a convenient target for his political opponents, who did not lose their chances to weaken Sagintayev’s team on the threshold of the power transit.

"The resignation of the current head of the Cabinet of Ministers and the appointment of a new one is a rather routine procedure in the current context of Kazakhstan's domestic political realities, despite the fact that this is the second person in the country. Apparently, some technocrat-manager will be appointed to accomplish the same tasks with the same methods as its predecessor. Askar Mamin, the first deputy head of the government, who became the acting head of the cabinet after Sagintayev’s resignation, would be suitable for this role. Other options are also possible, " Vorobyev says.

According to the expert, as a result of the reshuffle, the society will see new (but already familiar) faces in the structure of the updated Cabinet of Ministers and will hope for better. The successor of Sagintayev and his associates will try with new energy to solve the difficult social and economic development challenges the country faces. Perhaps, they will succeed more than their predecessors. However, the success will depend not only on their own efforts but also on the external and internal economic conditions.

According to political analyst Dosym Satpayev, the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers is "a proven political strategy when it is necessary to redirect protest sentiments towards negligent officials. Did  the Ak Orda suddenly see the steam boiler that could explode?” the political scientist wonders. ”The officials will be replaced, and the boiler will remain," Satpayev said. At the same time, the expert noted that the end of Nursultan Nazarbrayev’s statement reminds a pre-election platform.

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