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Jan 14, 2022
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Tokayev will run for a second term, continuing Elbasy’s work

Pictured: President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

In the photo: President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (Photo: Press Service of the President of Kazakhstan/TASS)

It is unlikely that today anyone can unambiguously answer the question: were the events in Kazakhstan an attempted coup inspired from outside, or internal clashes: the former tried to remove the current ones, or vice versa. The terrorists took advantage of this.

In any case, it is obvious that Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, albeit with the help of “Russian bayonets”, he won this fight. But what’s next? Do you expect changes?

The Kazakh leader came up with a reform program that contains many really necessary things: redistributing the income of oligarchs, combating capital flight abroad, combating the merging of religious extremism and crime, and increasing the incomes of citizens. But at the same time, there was not a word about the fight against nationalism. That is, the khan is new, but the orders are old?

Even though the crisis is far from over, many experts have begun to argue whether Tokayev will run for a second term. This means the final completion of the transfer of power, in which Nazarbayev and his relatives are the losing side.

And what about the Kremlin? Will such a transfer of power scare them now? Is there any fear of a repetition of the Kazakhstani events in our country?

“History in the Horde today still looks very strange,” the editor of APN North-West believes. Andrey Dmitriev.

“Apparently, we do not know much about the internal mechanisms of the riots that swept across the republic with the fall of Elbasy and his power. But some things can be clearly identified even now.

Russia, with the coordinated deployment of the CSTO forces, supported, and even saved Tokaev’s power. But what are the benefits of this?

Firstly, creating a new government, Tokayev appointed a patented Russophobe as Minister of Information Askara Umarova, who is considered the curator of the “language patrols”, who, for a moment, is officially banned from entering the Russian Federation. This is such an unambiguous spit on the Russian leadership. And at the same time a gesture that, probably, should reconcile the president with the nationalists.

Secondly, a human rights activist who has become a symbol of pro-Russian sentiment in the republic Ermek Taychibekov is still in jail.

Thirdly, nothing is heard about the abolition of the reform on the transition to the Latin alphabet … Finally, our troops leave after only a few days. Such transience of the peacekeeping operation raises many questions.

As a result, we see that both Astana and Moscow do not care about the rights of Russians. This means that in the end we risk getting an even more monolithic and Russophobic regime in Kazakhstan than it has been in the last 30 years.

“SP”: – It is not the first time that the Kremlin is not going to use the moment to defend the rights of compatriots. But will Moscow learn from Nazarbayev’s failed transfer of power?

I think more no than yes. After all, Tokayev turned to Moscow for help, asked for the introduction of troops. Apparently, the exit from the stage of Elbasy and his clan was also agreed. From the bureaucratic and legal point of view of the Kremlin (and our president, let me remind you, is a lawyer), Tokayev did everything right. No wonder Putin praised him and said that he “showed courage.” Therefore, GDP is unlikely to be afraid of a repeat of this in Russia, and the decision will apparently be made in 2024, according to the situation, as he likes. The fate of Nazarbayev has nothing to do with it.

The one who laughs last laughs best. Tokayev remained in power, and Nazarbayev has literally disappeared at the moment, – emphasizes the candidate of political sciences, executive director of the International Monitoring Organization CIS-EMO Stanislav Byshok.

– In this regard, we can talk about strengthening the authority of the incumbent president, or, in any case, about the opportunity that has opened up for Tokayev to prove himself as an independent leader who is not only the locum tenens of the “real” owner of the republic, which until recently many considered Nazarbayev, personal and collective. So far, there are no arguments against Tokayev running for a new presidential term.

“SP”: – Tokayev, speaking in parliament, announced a bunch of beautiful reforms. At the same time, he appointed the outspoken Russophobe Askar Umarov as the Minister of Information of Kazakhstan. But the Russian regions did not take part in the riots from the word at all. And all the gratitude? Tokayev will continue the course towards building a mono-ethnic state?

– There is an opinion that revolutions or, if you like, coups d’etat – and attempts to do so – in the post-Soviet space are always associated with an incorrect, from the point of view of critics, attitude towards the Russian question and / or towards Russia. From Belarus to Kazakhstan they find this dynamic.

On the other hand, we must not forget that nationalism, in all its diversity, remains a strong ideology, which, willy-nilly, the new states of the post-Soviet (or post-imperial) periphery are beginning to adopt. In every or almost every case, Russia and Russians become the antagonist of the national liberation myth.

It was in the eyes of the supporters of Eurasian ideas that the Slavic-Turkic symphony, the unity of the “Kazakh mind and Russian diligence” practically happened in Kazakhstan. How successful this symphony is seen by those who are alien to the Eurasian ideology is a separate question.

It seemed to some that after the Crimean referendum and the Donbass problem, the post-Soviet states with a significant Russian population should somehow reconsider their policy towards the Russian question, become more responsive to the rights and interests of their Russian fellow citizens.

But in reality, the opposite process seems to have happened: the leaders of the respective states decided that the louder their own Russian population, especially the compact one, will declare itself, the more likely it is that “polite people” from Russia will appear inside the borders of this state – or something. something similar. I do not see a single example of how Crimea and Donbass would improve the position of the Russian minority in any country.

“SP”: – Nazarbayev made a mistake with the choice of a successor? Or was it inevitable… What lessons will the Kremlin draw from what happened?

“Even in authoritarian and seemingly monolithic political systems, there is always more than one opinion, one interest, one center of power. Even if we assume that the sharp transition of peaceful protests into riots and pogroms with the use of firearms happened by itself, representatives of power groups use this crisis against each other, which we are already seeing now. Someone must be called responsible for the outrages. So far, Tokayev seems to be the main beneficiary, and Nazarbayev is the loser, in addition to those killed and injured during the riots.

Of course, it does not follow from this that Tokayev was behind the riots. But what happened allowed him to strengthen his own political subjectivity, which he can now use in different ways – both by carrying out reforms, and trying to tighten the screws, and in some other way.

As for the impact of the Kazakh events on the Kremlin, it seems obvious that the conditional transit party has suffered serious damage. In Russia, and so in any incomprehensible situation, it is customary to look for hostile external forces and tighten the screws, but here, as they say, God himself ordered. After all, we don’t want “like in Kazakhstan.”

Similar conclusions are drawn in Minsk, of course. “They don’t give away their beloved” and further down the list. What kind of transit in such conditions … And in general, the new president is needed for those who have a bad old one.

“SP”: Is it possible in Russia to repeat the Kazakh events? How and in what way will they differ, and how will the authorities react?

– Until the beginning of this year, Kazakhstan was perceived as a more “police” state than Russia. Nevertheless, as it turned out, even in Kazakhstan, the impossible is possible, so to speak. It is now officially declared that there was an attempted coup d’état in the republic. True, during “real” coups d’etat, people seize administrative buildings and stay there: we are the power here! In Kazakhstan, administrative buildings were set on fire, smashed and left. That’s not how coup d’état is done.

That is, I do not see the prospects for a “real” coup d’état in Russia today, but a local pogrom can happen somewhere. But, as the hero of the immortal comedy says, not in our area.

“Nazarbayev created such a system of state administration when he could not be allowed to strengthen any alternative center of power,” says a political analyst at the People’s Diplomacy Foundation for the Development of Civil Society Institutions Evgeny Valyaev.

– It is for this reason that Tokayev was nominated for the presidency, who was not associated with any clans and did not have his own team. Following this line, Nazarbayev needed to nominate a new man for the next presidential election so that Tokayev could not increase his power during the second term. These unrest were supposed to solve this problem – they were supposed to lower Tokayev’s authority so that a demand for a new face appeared among the population. But either Nazarbayev underestimated Tokayev or overestimated his strength. It is likely that both factors converged.

Tokayev emerged victorious from this story, albeit with an uncertain future. But in any case, he will be nominated for a second term.

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