This Sunday the early parliamentary elections will take place in Kazakhstan. 107 MPs, including 9 people from the Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan, are due to be elected. Not long ago President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev stated at the Assembly’s forum that 962 ethnic and cultural organizations are functioning in the country. “This confirms that Kazakhstan is a home for all its citizens. The 20th century was difficult for many people, including displaced and expelled people who found shelter in the Kazakh land… Today events are developing according to various dramatic scenarios in various countries – with violence, ethnic cleansing, wars and conflicts. Against such a dark sad background, every Kazakhstan citizen begins to realize the real price of peace and social consent, what disasters we have managed to avoid by taking the path of dialogue, respect and tolerance towards each other. Today our experience is studied and used by other states. Kazakhstan has a great future. We will overcome all challenges, and the state will do its best to move forward,” Nazarbayev said.
Along with political challenges, Kazakhstan faces economic problems. The director of the Analytical Center of MGIMO, Andrei Kazantsev, reminds that “the crisis has seriously affected all the countries of former Soviet Union, especially countries like Kazakhstan. There is the effect of a certain overlay. In other words, the difficult geopolitical situation and the challenges associated with it are superimposed on such difficult socio-economic processes, and all of it is also superimposed on the problems associated with the growth of terrorism and radicalization. This entire increasing set of problems must be addressed somehow. And in the framework of democratic tradition there is one very good way to solve this situation – for the government, the country's leadership, to receive a mandate to conduct certain positive reforms. The mechanism of early elections in the framework of democratic tradition is quite widely used. The government and the president of the country, in his interaction with the parliament, will receive an additional mandate of trust of the people in order to carry out further deep economic reforms.”
According to Kazantsev, the elections in Kazakhstan should lead to a renewal of political elites: “If we analyze the lists of the party, we will see that the renewal is huge. The establishment of a stable democracy is first and foremost the establishment of high political culture. Educated and modern elites are needed for this. And Kazakhstan is a pioneer in promoting such educated, young, well-oriented in the modern world elites throughout the entire post-Soviet space. And this is one very good recipe for avoiding such a phenomena as the 'Arab Spring', because it is well known that generational conflict was one of the main internal causes of the 'Arab Spring'. Early elections as a tool of crisis management, in other words, obtaining a mandate of trust of the people for carrying out further reforms by the government, it is also a perfect way to preserve interethnic peace and those balances which Kazakhstan has. It seems to us sometimes that this interethnic peace is something everlasting, especially in the context of Soviet internationalism. However, there is the very balanced foreign policy of Kazakhstan which has a unique, quite a multidirectional foreign policy, which allows it to preserve interethnic peace and balance between all groups within the country, as well as the balance of interests of external players.” The expert is sure that Kazakhstan is currently the most reliable partner in the Central Asian region for Russia. Kazakhstan is such a bastion of stability, which allows Russia to minimize a lot of risks.