On Monday, May 4th 2020, the Kazakhs learned who had replaced Dariga Nazarbayeva as the Head of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament. Mauled Ashimbayev who previously occupied the post of the First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration has become the successor of the eldest daughter of the First President.
Judging by the speed of implementing the personnel moves (recall, everything was done in just one working day), no disagreements (not to mention animosities) exist between Akorda and the Library.
Here is how the latest events look on paper.
Maulen Ashimbayev is released from the duties of the First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration by order of Kossym-Jomart Tokayev.
Maulen Ashimbayev is appointed a deputy of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament on the basis of the presidential quota.
The Central Election Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan, at its unscheduled meeting, terminates Dariga Nazarbayeva’s deputy’s authorities and the then registers Maulen Ashimbayev as a deputy of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament.
The Senate of the Kazakh Parliament, at its meeting with the participation of Kossym-Jomart Tokayev, unanimously elects Maulen Ashimbayev the Head of the Senate.
Dauren Abayev is released from the duties of the Minister of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and is appointed the First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration by order of Kossym-Jomart Tokayev.
Aida Balayeva is released from the duties of an Assistant to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan — the Head of the Department for Monitoring the Consideration of Appeals to the Presidential Administration and is appointed the Minister of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan by order of Kossym-Jomart Tokayev.
In between these two presidential orders, the Mazhilis, at the meeting of the Committee for Social and Cultural Development, approves the appointment of Aida Balayeva as the Minister of Information and Social Development.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin introduces Aida Balayeva as the new head of the agency to the staff of the Ministry of Information and Social Development.
In our opinion, this kind of speedy making and implementing the divisions (let us repeat that all the events happened in one working day, on Monday May 4th 2020) clearly shows that the decision on Dariga Nazarbayeva’s dismissal had been made beforehand, in other words, not in an urgent manner. Moreover, they had also already chosen who would become her replacement (in this instance, Maulen Ashimbayev) as well as determined the further chain of the personnel moves.
All this means that President Kossym-Jomart Tokayev by whose orders this wave of the personnel decisions and moves had been realised acted in complete agreement with Nursultan Nazarbayev and his team. With that, the absence of a public response on the part of Dariga Nazarbayeva and the passivity of her supporters on social media (among other things, regarding the thanks on the part of the head of the state on Twitter) confirms that she will do nothing that would cause a discontent or even anger on the part of her father.
So, the turbulent events of May 2-4 allow us to make some important conclusions from the internal political standpoint.
The main one lies in the fact that, so far as Nursultan Nazarbayev is alive and relatively capable, he can, at any given moment, quickly and without much trouble, replace the President, the Heads of the Senate and the Mazhilis of the Kazakh Parliament with someone else.
For instance, the scheme used against Dariga Nazarbayeva may very well be used against Maulen Ashimbayev as well. And as for Speaker of the Mazhilis of the Kazakh Parliament Nurlan Nigmatullin, he has become a deputy on the Nur Otan party list basis — the party chaired by the «Leader of the Nation»; thus, nothing precludes the latter from terminating Nigmatullin’s authorities simply summoning him away from the Parliament and delegating someone else from the party list instead.
With that, the new Head of the Mazhilis does not necessarily have to be on the Nur Otan list — as the lifelong Head of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev has the right to appoint any adult citizen a deputy of the Mazhilis at any given time. For this to happen, it is enough that the Assembly summons away one of its seven deputies whom it can delegate to the Mazhilis on the basis of its quota and replace this deputy with another.
Of course, the mechanism of removing Tokayev from the presidential position (if the necessity arises) will not be as simple and speedy. However, something tells us that Nazarbayev and his team have at their disposal so many compromising materials against the acting head of the state that, given the latter’s habit to obey the Leader of the Nation and Tokayev’s cautiousness, he is unlikely to show resistance.
And even if he dares to, we quite allow for the possibility that, in this case, some brave deputy of the Kazakh Parliament will recall that, in Geneva, Kossym-Jomart Tokayev was working for the UN (and not for Kazakhstan) and, therefore, does not have the required 15 years of the uninterrupted stay on the Kazakh territory. And the deputy will appeal the verdict of the Constitutional Council re this matter. And the Constitutional Council, in its turn, will urgently recover its sight and admit its mistake.
A rough scenario is possible too: if former advisor to Kossym-Jomart Tokayev, well-known in the country political expert Konstantin Syroyezhkin sentenced for high treason suddenly testifies that he was working for a foreign country together with the acting head of the state.
We doubt Tokayev is thrilled by this possibility.