What’s Behind the Mess in the Info Policy?

While the Kazakhs are fighting coronavirus and are trying to survive in the conditions of the drug deficit, the growing unemployment and the information vacuum on the part of the authorities, the insides of the authoritarian political system are experiencing some remarkable developments. 

We have already described one of such developments in the material «Akorda’s Preparing for Another Emergency». We wrote it following the fact that, on May 16, 2020, President Kossym-Jomart Tokayev signed the law on making changes and additions to certain legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan related to the issues of emergency rule.

And, on June 11, 2020, the head of the state signed yet another «emergency» law of Kazakhstan «On Making Changes and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan Related to Martial Law». This document has been left unnoticed by the society even though it is no less inportant than the first one in terms of expanding the powers of the authorities and, therefore, limiting the rights and freedoms of the citizens.

To confirm our statement, let us quote the material published by Zakon.kz entitled «Tokayev Signed Amendments In Re Martial Law» (text in bold by kz.expert). 

«Earlier, Deputy Minister of Defence Murat Bektenov said that the amendments are related to the issues of the safety and security of guarded persons and objects. This is a new task for the Armed Forces, other troops and military units as well as for state agencies», said he.

Apart from that, the President is to be granted with additional authorities in re determining the policies of martial law in peacetime.

As shown in the comparison chart to the legislature draft, the legislature on martial law is to be added with a provision according to which «in peacetime, the President of Kazakhstan determines the policies of martial law, approves the statute of the Supreme High Command General Headquarters, the statute of regional defence boards, the cities of the Republican significance, the capital, the statute of organising the work of the Government during the martial law as well as the statute of the state agencies directly subordinated and answerable to him for the period of the martial law».

In a nutshell, the most important point mentioned in the document is that the «guarded persons» (who are they? the people in the country know) and «the guarded objects» (the people also know which ones are particularly valuable) will now be protected not only by the State Security Service, the police and other departments of the MOI and the NSC but by the Kazakh army as well. In other words, Akorda and the Library are clearly preparing for imposing a new emergency rule.

Moreover, according to our insiders, the preparations have been going on in the information field as well. New First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Dauren Abayev acts as the key figure of this part of the authorities unofficial efforts.  

Having assumed the key position at the agency a short while ago, Abayev has already not only seriously renewed the top-management of almost all the state media-structures including the CCS but has also started actively expanding his powers, among other things, by establishing his unofficial and unlawful albeit direct and efficient control over the press-services of the governmental and the quasi-governmental structures.

The matter sometimes reaches ridiculous lengths. For instance, according to the insiders, the reporters’ questions related to coronavirus that they send to the departmental press-services are being re-sent to the Presidential Administration and eventually end up on the desks of Dauren Abayev’s staff. It is the latter that decide what is to be asked and answered.

Clearly, this scheme demands a lot of effort on the part of the staff of the press-services, so it has been causing discontent not just among them but among the journalists who know what’s going on. Nonetheless, the heads of the state agencies that are displeased by it can do nothing and are forced to endure Mr. Abayev’s sharp power.

Moreover, we have been told of several occasions when highly-ranked officials had to be involved in the solving of the problem called «the absence of a reaction on the part of the First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration». Sometimes successfully, sometimes not. 

To all this, let us add the so-called «leaders of the civic opinion» and the tamed bloggers who work for Dauren Abayev personally and whose number seems to be growing every day.

We personally have no doubt that the attitude towards Dauren Abayev that is already quite bad will continue to get worse. Especially since he, according to the insiders, has already started abusing his authorities at the new post by redistributing the government information orders in favour of the structures he controls.

However, since in spite of all that, he is still very smart and cautious, one can only explain such an obnoxious policy with one thing: «the dictatorship» of Mr. Abayev in the country’s information field has been sanctioned above and is but a part of the preparations for imposing a new emergency rule in the country. The only question is when will it be imposed and what’ll be the cause of it?


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