Kazakhstan’s President strengthens his control over the entire vertical of power

On November 26, 2022, President Tokayev of Kazakhstan was inaugurated for the next seven years. After the ceremony, some Kazakhs protested, and the police detained dozens of activists.

Tokayev’s speech aimed at convincing the population of the authorities’ ability to solve the country’s existing social and economic problems.

In the international arena, Tokayev expressed his intention to adhere to a multi-vector policy, developing relations with the post-Soviet countries, Russia, the EU, the USA, and China.

Tokayev failed to convince people

“At least dozens of people were detained in the Kazakh capital on the evening of November 26. At that time, mobile and landline Internet became unavailable in the city. The connection was restored after 20 hours local time, but according to reports, the Internet works intermittently.”

On September 1, Tokayev announced early presidential elections, reforms, and amnesty for the participants of the January protests in Kazakhstan.

On September 17, Tokayev signed the Law “On Amendments and Additions to the Constitution,” according to which a seven-year presidential term is established in Kazakhstan, while the head of state can be elected only once. 

Previously, the presidential mandate was five years, and the head of state could be elected twice a row. Kazakhstan also returned the name Astana to the capital instead of Nur-Sultan.

Opposition supporters rebel against the authorities

The leader of the Kazakh political party “Support of the People,” Nurzhan Altayev, claims that the voting procedure was violated, and the local population mostly ignored the elections. 

Although the official statistics indicate a 60% turnout, the actual turnout, according to him, was 20. “People understand that Tokayev is essentially usurping power. There are no elections because they did not allow any independent candidate to participate,” the oppositionist added.

On the same day, he signed a decree on the appointment of regular elections to the Senate of the Parliament on January 14, 2023. In this vote, Kazakhs will elect 17 out of 49 deputies. By June 2023, early elections to the lower house of parliament will be held in the country (the next ones were planned for January 2027).

Tokayev to visit Russia

We will remind that earlier Tokayev criticized Russian politicians and media who make insulting statements about Kazakhstan.

On June 17, during a speech at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, in the presence of Vladimir Putin, said that he did not recognize the “DPR” and “LPR” and criticized Russian politicians and media.

Tokayev began to reflect on the fact that the UN Charter has inherent contradictions – it contains both the right to respect the territorial integrity of states and the right of nations to self-determination, but the implementation of the latter causes chaos, so Kazakhstan does not recognize the self-proclaimed republics.

“If the right to self-determination is implemented throughout the globe, then instead of 193 states that are now part of the UN, there will be more than 500-600 states on earth. Of course, it will be chaos. For this reason, we do not recognize Taiwan, Kosovo, South Ossetia, or Abkhazia. This principle will be applied to quasi-state territories, which, in our opinion, maybe Luhansk and Donetsk.”

On November 28, Tokayev will make his first foreign visit after taking office in the Russian Federation. In Moscow, he will meet with Russian dictator Putin. 

“During the talks, it is planned to discuss the further development of Russian-Kazakh relations of strategic partnership, as well as prospects for cooperation within the framework of integration associations in the Eurasian space,” – the Kremlin press service reported.

Tokayev to meet French President Macron

On November 29-30, the President of Kazakhstan will officially visit France. In Paris, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will talk with French leader Emmanuel Macron to discuss prospects for further strategic partnership in trade and economy, investment, and the humanitarian area. 

The Kazakhstan’s President will also meet with representatives of French business circles.

Tokayev’s plans to retain complete control of parliament confirm his intention to guarantee himself a one-person rule until the end of 2029. 

At the same time, balancing between Russia and Western countries, he expects to avoid external pressure due to non-compliance with the principles of democracy in Kazakhstan.

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