Behind the Scenes of the Nur Otan Primaries

Kazakhstan has de-facto entered the election campaign. Of course, so far it involves only the ruling party Nur Otan that has launched the so called primaries — not so much a political but an advertising stunt. In our opinion, their main goal is not so much to reform the party as to remind the voters about it as well as to reduce the negative attitude of the society towards the authorities.

Therefore, it is pointless to discuss the course of the primaries and forecast how they are going to affect the upcoming Mazhilis and local representative bodies elections. We are more than certain that, somewhere inside the belly of the Presidential Administration and the Security Council, there is a classified document that describes the plan of the upcoming election campaign, its expected results and the approved list of the future «representatives of the people».

However, the political outcome of this election is a completely different matter. For Akorda and the Library, it may very well turn out to be if not catastrophic (like in Belarus) but quite loss-making one.

Why do we think so? The thing is that, if civil activists get consolidated thus ensuring a more or less tangible monitoring of the electoral process and vote counting and prove that:

  1. the election results were falsified,
  2. the voting was conducted under the administrative pressure on the part of the authorities,
  3. the actual voter turnout was lower than officially announced,

it will be immediately blamed on Nursultan Nazarbayev and Kossym-Jomart Tokayev and the others of that ilk.  At the same time, the scale of the violations will be of no importance, a dozen of registered cases will suffice.

Under these circumstances, the only thing that the authorities (Akorda and the Library) may attempt in order not to lose the upcoming elections in the eyes of the society is to give the citizens an opportunity to either vote the way they want or not to come to voting stations at all. However, such a decision will invariably cause chaos inside the authoritarian political system and the «super-presidential» vertical. Moreover, it may lead to very unexpected results such as — only one party (Nur Otan) makes it to the Kazakh Parliament or, on the contrary, the NSDP or Aul make it there with phenomenal results.

In our opinion, Akorda and the Library are unlikely to take that risk. So, most likely, the next Mazhilis and local representative bodies elections, as always, will be conducted in manual mode and with the results determined ahead of time. The same way they have recently handled the Senate by-election.

By the way, our forecast regarding the winners of the August 12, 2020, election was 100% successful.

Those who wish to see that for themselves may do so by comparing the surnames of the senators from our August 5, 2020, publication called «The Senate Elections: Winners Appointed Long Ago» and the surnames mentioned in the official announcement of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan of August 13, 2020.

In conclusion, let us draw the reader’s attention to the fact that the Appendix to the CEC Decree 18/137 of August 13, 2020, contains interesting information regarding how the Kazakh Senate elections were actually conducted.

For instance, in the end, only 46 candidates were nominated even though the number of the nominees was twice as big. In other words, the ratio of the losses during the nominees registration surpassed 50%. With that, all the 17 «winners» have shown «outstanding» results: an outsider Rysbekova Lyazzat Tuyakbayevna (West-Kazakhstan region) received 70,3% of the votes whereas a leader Makezhanov Sultanbek Almasbekovich received 100% of the votes. With that, out of the 17 new senators, five have won with the results varying from 90 to 100% and from 70 to 90% and seven — with the results varying from 80 to 90%.


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