On June 17, 2020, seven civil activists announced the creation of the League of Nur Otan Supporters. This civil initiative has made a lot of noise if not in Kazakhstan than in the Kazakh part of the Internet to be sure. And the reaction has primarily been a negative one.
Those who wish to learn more about this political project that is, undoubtedly, tied to the upcoming parliamentary elections and, therefore, to the unavoidable discussions on what the Elbasy’s party is and why voters should support it may, for instance, turn to the interview of political expert Erlan Sairov given to the Nur.kz internet-resource.
The material entitled «Erlan Sairov Told Why They Are Creating the League of Nur Otan Supporters» was published on June 18.
If we are to believe the speaker, the members of the League (that, apart from Sairov, currently include Murat Abenov, Bibigul Dayletbek, Marat Shibutov, Eduard Poletayev, Zhanarbek Ashimzhan, Yakov Fedoras) intend to «take a huge block of problematic issues and address them directly to the party members». In other words, to «serve simultaneously as a bridge between the country’s ruling party and the population as well as the public control since they are planning to monitor the solving of the problems on a regular basis».
It is hard to say whether the project has been initiated by Akorda or if is does represent an attempt of a group of the civil leaders to do something useful for the country. But the initiative itself, in our opinion, deserves to be supported due to both political and social reasons.
The thing is that the League of Nur Otan Supporters (given than the project will be implemented on the promised scale) will, first of all, create yet another communication channel between the Kazakh society and the authorities (albeit a short-lived and not a very efficient one); second of all, it will liven up the discussion since, as a rule, having a dispute with officials is not particularly interesting and effective.
For this reason, we believe that the wave of discontent among the protest-minded internet-activists that have already started calling the League of Nur Otan Supporters all kinds of names is a big mistake. In our opinion, the League could be and even should be used for:
a) public criticism of the ruling party and its actions;
b) bringing to the notice of Akorda and the agencies below the information on the existing problems in order to make the latter do something about them (or at least start apologising for them);
c) forming and consolidating a public opinion in re individual topics, issues and problems;
d) consolidating the League itself especially since the existence of the public opponent allows to seriously simplify and accelerate this process.
Moreover, we even allow for the possibility that the League may be transformed into a new civil association if not a political party. This, by the way, may be inferred from the following words of Erlan Sairov that he said during the interview (text in bold by kz.expert).
«We know that Kazakhstan’s got a progressive part of the society that desires liberal political reforms and wants the issues related to the social inequality to be resolved in our country. At the same time, they believe that all these processes must be carried out in a peaceful and evolutionary fashion. In other words, the democratic processes and the road to democracy in Kazakhstan must not devaluate the state values. In this regard, a part of the society wishes that the country would undergo gradual evolutionary changes that would result in a qualitative change in the social sphere as well as in the sustainable economic development. This part of the society rejects the intermittence and the turbulence of the political process, rejects ochlocracy, the rule of the mob. Nonetheless, it does want certain political reforms. These are the centrists that would want all the positive changes in our country happening in a peaceful and evolutionary manner. At the same time, today we are observing the disintegration of our society. In other words, certain parts of the society reject the state values; and ochlocracy, the rule of the mob, is overtaking a certain part of the society. Therefore, the second part that wants the evolutionary reforms desires its voice to be heard. And in order for their voice to be heard, they have decided to found the League of Nur Otan Supporters. In doing so, this part of the society wants to express their point of view, their standing on the complex aspects of the social and economic life and to offer a program of what Kazakhstan should become in the mid-run to the ruling party. And here we understand that we have’ve got plenty of the economic and social problems. We believe that all these problems must be solved within the limits of law and reason».
Obviously, Akorda will not allow the League’s founders to become a «Trojan horse» within the ruling party and particularly will not permit them to sit on its back in order to «make it to paradise» in this fashion, but the very idea of creating such an association seems to us quite interesting. For, be the looks of it, from now on we will have to deal with not just one presidential «nightingale» a la Ermukhamet Ertysbayev but with a whole flock of them.
In view of this, we can but wish to the newly formed movement not to repeat the unfortunate fate of its historical predecessor — Kazakhstan’s Civil Alliance.
By the way, this classic GONGO (government-organised non-governmental organisation) has recently drawn attention to itself again by announcing the change of its leadership. Now, instead of Asylbek Kozhakhmetov, the President and Chancellor of Almaty Management University, this pseudo-structure that strongly resembles the Atameken National Entrepreneurs Chamber albeit in the NGO sector will be chaired by Saltanat Rakhimbekovа, the head of a number of NGOs that include the EXPO& Women international organisation and the Agrarian Union of Women of Kazakhstan.
It is very likely that Kazakhstan’s Civic Alliance will soon «dive» into yet another election campaign and then fall into oblivion again.