The majority of Kazakhstan's population supports Nazarbayev, expert says
By Vestnik Kavkaza
On April 26th the early presidential elections will be held in Kazakhstan. The current president of the country, Nursultan Nazarbayev, representing the Nur Otan Party, a candidate from the Communist Party Turgun Syzdykov, and the chairman of the Federation of Labor Unions Abelgazi Kusainov will fight for the top position. The Central Electoral Commission has already registered 45 independent observers from Germany, Georgia, Israel, the Netherlands, Croatia, Estonia, Canada, Lithuania, Finland, and the Czech Republic, while observers from the OSCE, the CIS, the SCO and the OIC have been invited. The level of support for the current head of state makes experts optimistic about the development of prospects of relations between Astana and Moscow.
Bulat Sultanov, the director of the Institute of International and Regional Cooperation under the Kazakhstan-German University, thinks that the multivector policy by Kazakhstan requires three priority directions – Russia, China and the EU, as they provide 74% of the country's turnover.
Sultanov reminds that before 1991 Kazakhstan lagged behind in economic development in comparison with some Soviet republics: “The Soviet Union had two privileged republics – Georgia and Ukraine. Comrade Stalin promoted the interests of Georgia in 1923-1953; while Nikita Khrushchev and comrade Brezhnev promoted the interests of Ukraine in 1953-1982. Speaking about the industrial potential of Ukraine (it was the second after Russia) and Kazakhstan, the gap between them was huge. However, by 2013 Kazakhstan got ahead of Ukraine in volumes of industrial production. The GDP of Kazakhstan had grown 20-fold during the years; and it was $13,000 in 2014 per person. We started together with Kyrgyzstan, when our GDP per person was $705-710.”
“Kazakhstan is a democratic country,” Sultanov thinks. “There are supporters of President Nazarbayev, they are the majority; but there are those who disagree with his policy. The way President Nazarbayev provides his foreign and internal policies deserves to be approved. The majority of Kazakhstan’s population supports him.”