Kassym-Zhomart Tokaev will not create his own political party
In Kazakhstan, the concept of "parliamentary opposition" was enshrined at the legislative level. President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev signed the new law as part of the country's political reform. Will there be opposition parties in the lower house of parliament, will the next parliamentary elections show at the beginning of next year. MP Azat Peruashev believes that the new law testifies the maturity of the democratic system of Kazakhstan. The introduction of the legal concept of “opposition” is a positive sign.
"We didn’t have such a concept. We considered it right that there should be a parliamentary opposition in parliament that will express the opinion of the people and raise issues that concern the entire population. That is, the parliamentary opposition will have the right to express its opinion, it will also express the opinion of the people." - Peruashev said at a meeting of the parliament. Does it mean that the pro-government Nur Otan party, the Ak Zhol democratic party of Kazakhstan, which positions itself as a constructive opposition, and the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan do not express the opinion of the people represented in parliament, Peruashev did not specify.
The new law provides for the right of deputies from parties that work in the minority to speak at joint meetings of chambers and meetings of working groups, to initiate parliamentary hearings.
Earlier, the head of state signed amendments to laws on elections, political parties and rallies. One of the main questions is whether Kasym-Zhomart Tokaev will create his own party. According to Kazakhstani political scientist Daniyar Ashimbaev, "this would mean a break with Nursultan Nazarbayev, which no one needs." Nur Otan "is a symbol to some extent, and its performance in the elections is also an assessment of the current president by the population. In addition, at the regional level verticals of the first and second presidents are currently personified in the same figures. Tokaev to some extent distanced himself from Nur Otan, but the party pulled on itself last year’s presidential election, and it has, say, unpaid bills, "I’m sure Ashimbaev. According to the expert, technically liberalization of party legislation could give impetus to the emergence of new parties. But the list of projects voiced at the moment does not make a special impression. “There are no serious human, organizational, financial and media resources behind them. It seems that some candidates for the role of a systemic opposition are more likely to be outsourced to Birlik or Auyl and a“ democratic ”quota of 10 -15% of the electorate, "said Ashimbaev. However, he drew attention to the next moment - if after the reform of party legislation there are no new registered parties, then the reforms themselves "will be perceived as profanity." “In addition, there is a risk that the Mazhilis elected according to the previous three-party scheme will cease to be perceived as a representative body,” the expert added.
Meanwhile, Karligash Nugmanova, doctor of political sciences, professor, president of the East-West international center for geopolitical forecasting, told Vestnik Kavkaza that after signing the laws On Political Parties and On Elections in Kazakhstan, there was a chance to participate in the distribution of deputy mandates for new parties: “Reducing the threshold number of signatures from 40 thousand to 20 thousand gives a chance for new parties. A 30% quota for women and youth in party lists is also introduced. These legislative initiatives will have a positive effect on the participation of women and youth in the political life of society, as well as on the process of the further formation of the multi-party system of the country. The initiative to create political parties has already been made by several associations - the environmental party Tabigat, Respublika and the Democratic Party of Kazakhstan. However, at this stage they will not be able to compete with the Nur Otan party "
The director of the analytical center "Alternative" Andrei Chebotarev believes that since last year, in the wake of a change in the country's leadership, the so-called transit of power, political activity has sharply increased. "Today, there are already about ten public initiatives to create new political parties. With the new amendments adopted, this one way or another makes it easier to create parties in Kazakhstan. Let's see how those social activists who have announced their initiatives will act. The coronavirus pandemic has become a challenge for all political parties, including the Nur Otan party. Everyone needs to work with voters, and voters are now preoccupied with solving everyday and social problems, "Andrei Chebotarev told Vestnik Kavkaza.
He also believes that the new communications that have been introduced recently are not accepted by all citizens, especially at the grassroots level, in rural areas. Today, all parties are in the same position, both active and those that will be created. “But in order to create competition for the Nur Otan party, an intra-elite split must occur. There are no such signs in Kazakhstan,” the expert emphasized. Chebotarev believes that competition may appear in the elections to maslikhats (local councils are VK). "The next local elections at all levels will be held according to a proportional system, like the elections to the lower system of parliament, and in my opinion the competition will intensify for those parties that are not inclined to take a majority in the lower house of parliament. They will fight for a seat in local councils . Only in this field can any competition appear, "Chebotarev believes.
“How can there be a“ parliamentary opposition ”in the parliament if there is no really functioning political opposition in the political system that is ready to fight for power and ready to challenge the current government?” Asked Kazakh political analyst Dosym Satpayev. He believes that the opposition party will be appointed by the authorities. Since there are no favorable political conditions for its appearance, including through the creation of a competitive electoral system. Satpayev believes that political technology and the game of liberalization have replaced real political reforms. "The backstage politics still continues to dominate public politics. The leash was lengthened, but not taken off the neck of society. This was also shown by the adoption of the new law on peaceful assembly and the updated law on political parties, where they did not eliminate the most important obstacle to the creation of the party, maintaining a tough political control over the registration process, "Dosym Satpayev told Vestnik Kavkaza.
As a result, in his opinion, as before, parties like "laboratory mice" do not live or die by their own free will and will of the voters, but based on the will and desire of the authorities, "said Satpayev. He recalled that he said last year that the indicator of the beginning of any political reforms will be, first of all, the process of changing the electoral legislation and the existing discriminatory electoral system, as this is the basis for the functioning of any government, any system. "After all, our presidential elections are initially cut off from participation in them a large number of potential candidates only because they do not have the necessary length of public service, and self-nominees cannot get into parliament, since a proportional system of elections to the legislative body was introduced. As a result, even the introduction of a 30% quota for youth and women in party lists automatically cuts off a large number of youth and women who are not members of pro-government political parties with the right to form these same lists from participating in parliamentary elections. By the way, in Sweden in the same parliament, about 47% of the deputies are women, and in the government there are 54% of them. And it’s not a matter of quotas, but the fact that only the existing and really working democratic electoral system determines who gets into power with a mandate of trust from the population, who doesn’t, who will be the “opposition” and who is the ruling party, who is worthy to represent citizens are interested in parliament, and who will fly out of there because they have lost their mandate of public trust, "the expert summed up.