In our opinion, Kazakhstan’s dyarchy when the authoritarian political system and the «super-presidential» vertical are run by two persons at once — the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and his successor Kossym-Jomart Tokayev is approaching its logical finale. And even though it is still unclear when exactly it is going to happen, the very fact that it will is beyond doubt.
In view of this, we recommend not to pay too much attention to all the alleged information leaks about where the Elbasy is spending his vacation and what kind of squabbles the ruling elite is experiencing in relation to embezzling the state funds and shifting the responsibility for its failures in the fight against the COVID-19 and its socio-economic consequences on someone else. It looks like the purpose of these leaks is to deflect the public attention away from what is now going on in the Library.
We believe many in the country have noticed that, in 2020, the Day of the Capital and Nursultan Nazarbayev’s 80th anniversary were celebrated rather wanly (not counting the infamous firework display in the capital). And, quite possibly, the people thought that this had to do with either coronavirus contracted by the Elbasy or the authorities’ desire not to exacerbate the situation by too vigorous a celebration. However, in the past, this kind of political correctness had never been characteristic of either the «Leader of the Nation» or Akorda.
Previously, we have already expressed our doubts that Nursultan Nazarbayev is actually sick with COVID-19 and suggested that the matter most likely lies in a political necessity. Of course, the question is what the reason for that necessity was.
Then we have suggested three possible takes on the matter: a pessimistic one, an optimistic one and a somewhat neutral one. Recall:
«According to the first take, following his meetings with First Deputy Head of the Nur Otan Party Bauyrzhan Baybek and Secretary of Kazakhstan’s Security Council Aset Isekeshev as well as the June 3 session of the Management Council of NWF Samruk-Kazyna and the reception of Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary of the UAE to Kazakhstan Mohammad Al Jaber that took place on the same day, the state of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s health (that is poor enough as it is) has worsened drastically. And since the day (June 6, 2020) when Nursultan Nazarbayev is obligated to appear before the people but can’t (without risking his life and the internal political stability in the country) is coming, the Library has chosen to employ the coronavirus scenario.
Three Takes on Nazarbayev’s “Contagion”
Here is an optimistic take. On June 24, 2020, the Victory Day Parade in honour of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War (WWII) is to take place in Moscow. This parade serves as one of the significant elements of Vladimir Putin’s two important political projects — that on the consolidation of the country and the Russian people and that on the prolongation of his authorities as the head of the state via introducing changes into the Russian Constitution. Therefore, Nursultan Nazarbayev as an old (albeit not always loyal) ally of Mr. Putin simply must be present at the celebration. However, it looks like, after his March 2020 visit to Moscow, the Elbasy has no desire to communicate with his Russian colleague personally; therefore, he has quite reasonably decided to use coronavirus as his cover.
The somewhat neutral take lies in a possibility that Nursultan Nazarbayev and the people from his immediate circle have chosen to have a lighter version of the Elbasy’s anniversary celebration. Due to many reasons including the desire to shield the birthday boy from external contacts with the people that may be candescent transmitters of the coronavirus infection. In other words, even though the Elbasy is still capable of appearing before the people, he has chosen not to do so».
Now then, according to insider information from Akorda (the Library has so firmly closed itself from the outside world that one is struck with wonder), the pessimistic take is valid after all.
And this can be confirmed not only by the colourless and dull celebration of Nazarbayev’s 80th anniversary but also by the statistics of his public activities. We have assessed it for the periods from March 20 till August 2, 2020, and from March 20 till August 2, 2019. The data is taken from the Elbasy’s official website. Here are the results.
We see no point in commenting on this figures — they clearly show that Kazakhstan will soon go back to its classic power model: one country — one leader. Moreover, we daresay that the current configuration of the Kazakh power vertical will exist for at least two years and will be run by Kossym-Jomart Tokayev.
As for the question who else is going to participate in the decision-making process, we don’t have an answer. Yet. There is a lot of talks and predictions but all of them are too subjective. A lot will depend on random occurrences, coincidences and inter-crossings related to human fates, personnel reshuffles and economic changes.