Tokayev’s Empty Promises

More and more, the internal political developments in Kazakhstan are starting to resemble a comedy drama of the absurdist variety. The main “protagonist” is the same – the authoritarian political system and the super-presidential vertical now personified by second President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev who has just been made legitimate via the presidential elections.

The necessity to confirm the legitimate nature of the transfer of the presidential chair as well as of the new configuration of the power vertical forces Tokayev to make a lot of speeches and give a lot of promises.

With that, the task of preserving the political stability in Kazakhstan is still looming over Akorda. Moreover, judging by how rigidly, quickly and, most importantly, mindlessly the lower-level law-enforcement structures are operating now, they have received a strict order to suppress any expression of protest immediately (no matter what the occasion and who is involved).

It is very likely that the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – the Leader of the Nation, his immediate circle and the top of the ruling elite are afraid that peaceful protestations may suddenly turn into massive civil disturbances which they know how to handle only by shooting the protesters.

The overlapping of the individual task of reelecting Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan with the general task of preserving the status quo in the country has resulted in the aforementioned absurdist comedy drama when the acting head of the state and an electable candidate says the right words and makes big promises during the election campaign while what is actually happening in the country can only be described as the national-scale idiocy.

This idiocy hails from the top and is expressed, among other instances, in the fact that nursing mothers are being put in jail and then sentenced to two-month home arrest by court. Not for committing any action but for expressing their thoughts out loud.

However, the governmental idiocy does not end there. What is more, it has become quite apparent not only in the despotism of the authorities (to which we have become accustomed) but in Tokayev’s official speeches.

For instance, at the meeting of the National Investors Council that took place on May 24, 2019, Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev made a “keynote” speech in which he outlined the main tasks for Kazakhstan’s big enterprises.

He said in particular:

“Now it is important to establish an effective mechanism for implementing such solutions within the framework of the national legal system. First of all, we are talking about the judicial system. The independence of the court, the legitimacy of its decisions are the fundamentals that ensure the trust in the country’s business-climate on the part of investors and entrepreneurs. It is necessary to achieve equality between entrepreneurs and state agencies in legal disputes”. 

In this case, the governmental idiocy is manifested in the fact that, due to the current political necessity, Nazarbayev’s successor is talking about the independence of the court and the legitimacy of its decisions, in other words, about something that Kazakhstan has no trace of. With that, however, he immediately narrowes down the area in which the said independence and legitimacy are to take place – the relationships between entrepreneurs and state agencies.

And since all of this was happening against the backdrop of the open judicial, prosecutorial, investigative and police abuse in the country, the dissonance between Tokayev’s words and reality was particularly apparent. 

On May 24, 2019, Tokayev was talking face to face with the representatives of Kazakhstan’s big business, in other words, with the people who know, accept and adhere to the existing rules of the game and, therefore, could allow himself to, simply put, lie to their faces. However, we are certain that not a single participant of the meeting believed Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev. In the same vein, the representative of the big business, having read the press reports, were unlikely to believe that “the comprehensive support of a private initiative has always been the state’s priority” and that “we will decidedly foil any abuse of the monopoly position, fight the unjustifiably high prices, take away the barriers that hinder competition”.

There is no limit to analyzing what Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev said and promised in the course of the election campaign, finding the new manifestations of the governmental idiocy and, every time, arriving at the same conclusion: the newly-elected head of the state is saying and will say in public what his audience wants to hear. With that, the probability of him delivering on his promises is close to a zero.

We have no doubt about this since the same promises given by his predecessor had remained nothing but empty phrases and had not been delivered on over the course of the 30 years of his “reign”.

In this context, the slogan that Tokayev used during the election campaign and will probably use in his further “rule” – “Continuity. Fairness. Progress” – seems not even a mockery of the common sense but an open fraud and a conscious lie for how can one achieve fairness and progress by continuing to pursue Nursultan Nazarbayev’s policies and practices?!

Tokayev’s employment of social networks for self-promoting makes this mockery of the common sense and open fraud extra-apparent. For now the state idiocy is being delivered to the public not only though the state and pro-governmental press as it used to happen during the Soviet times but though social networks that have a propensity to strengthen any desired thing, be it an emotion, information, exposure, support, image, etc.

As a result, the idiocy of Akorda, Nursultan Nazarbayev’s immediate circle and the top of the ruling elite, the idiocy that is now being actively projected from the top to the entire country is becoming so apparent that one is starting to fear for Kazakhstan repeating the fate of the Soviet Union that, to a large extent, collapsed precisely because of the pack of lies told and believed by most of its citizens.

This becomes an especially likely development if we are to lay Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev’s statement made on Twitter on June 9, 2019:

“The dialogue between the authorities and the civil society must be based on recognizing the difference of opinions about Kazakhstan’s further development, on strengthening its potential. There is no other way to enhance the unity of the nation and the stability in the country. Our rising generation is intelligent, creative, patriotically minded! It will get a chance to realize its dream”

on what was happening in the country on the election day both at the ballot stations and on the streets. 


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