Road for presidential post is opened for Dariga Nazarbayeva
After President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s resignation, Kazakhstan has been set in motion. Senate Speaker Kassym-Jomart Tokayev became president, and his vacant seat was taken by the daughter of the leader of the nation, Dariga Nazarbayeva. Prior to that, she served as the Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs, Defense and Security of the Upper Chamber of Parliament. Now Dariga is the second person in the state, which once again sparked a discussion about the successor to the leader of the nation.
Dariga Nazarbayeva is no stranger to politics and power. In 2003, she founded the Asar Party, which in 2006 joined the pro-government party Nur Otan. She was working in the government and in the parliament, and in 2016, headed the Senate Committee on International Affairs, Defense and Security. In addition, Dariga has launched a number of initiatives that have been ambiguously met in the community. In particular, she proposed to limit the powers of the president, expand the powers of the parliament and form a government on the basis of a parliamentary majority. Dariga also supports journalists by defending their rights.
A number of experts believe that Dariga Nazarbayeva may become the successor of her father as president. Another thing is that her popularity among the Kazakh elite is not too high. However, the appointment of the head of the Senate increases her chances of becoming the third president of the republic.
According to the Constitution of Kazakhstan, in the event of early resignation or removal of the president from the office, as well as in case of his death, the powers for the remaining term are transferred to the Speaker of the Senate; if it is impossible for the chairman of the Senate to assume the powers of the president - to the chairman of the Majlis of the parliament; if the chairman of the Majlis cannot become the president - to the prime minister of the republic. A person who has assumed the authority of the president of the republic withdraws his powers. Thus, Senate Speaker Kassym-Jomart Tokayev became President of Kazakhstan, albeit for a transitional period - until the next elections to be held in 2020. The exact date will be determined by the CEC of Kazakhstan. Experts believe Tokayev’s chances of gaining power are high.
As for Dariga Nazarbayeva, then, according to Kazakhstan political analyst Talgat Kaliev, the post of Speaker of the Senate can become a direct and shortest path to the presidential chair. But it is not worth making unambiguous and hasty conclusions. In his opinion, "the new architecture of the government does not allow the emergence of absolute dominants." "In this model, the country will be governed by the collegial principle. In accordance with it, the power will be dispersed among several centers. In such a design, the shareholders of the government are Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Karim Masimov, Askar Mamin, Nurlan Nigmatulin and, now officially, Dariga Nazarbayeva. "Her mission, it seems, is to strengthen the guarantees and control over the continuity of the first president's course, in case any of the shareholders has harmful illusions, "the political scientist wrote in his telegram channel.
According to Kaliev, for Dariga Nursultanovna herself, the chair of the Senate’s Speaker might be much preferable to the presidential one, since “it gives sufficient authority and influence.”
“The appointment of Dariga Nazarbayeva as head of the Senate is part of the project of the leader of the nation (Elbasy) - this status has been retained by Nursultan Nazarbayev - called the transit of power. But the situation can change radically when Nazarbayev leaves the political scene completely,” Director of the Risk Assessment Group Dosym Satpayev told Vestnik Kavkaza. On the one hand, this is due to an attempt to secure this operation. The Senate, security forces and business elites are now under the family’s control. The National Security Committee is formally headed by Karim Masimov, but his first deputy is the President’s nephew, Samat Abish. The business is under Timir Kulibayev’s control, who is the son-in-law of the president and the husband of his middle daughter. He heads the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan. "Nazarbayev has placed his family members at key positions, and the representative of the old guard is taken to a higher level of the acting president. Thus, Kazakhstan forms a family-gerontocratic system of power, in which the president relied on the family members and representatives of the old guard. Although Nazarbayev himself repeatedly said that he needed to give way to the youth. Perhaps, he was disappointed in the new generation of young managers, due to the numerous scandals in which they are involved,” Satpayev said.
On the other hand, according to the expert, the successors that were designated under the ex-president will be supported by the elite as long as they stay under the influence of the Elbasy's authority. But when he is gone, they will be left alone. “Will they endure this test? Now we are witnessing a political performance, where the director is Nursultan Nazarbayev. But the performance will end sooner or later, then there will be a reality, for which the country is not ready,” Satpayev said.