How Shukeyev Bested Baybek

Nur Otan’s «victory» at the latest Mazhilis and maslikhats elections was predetermined and unavoidable. However, behind it, there lies a lot more than can be seen by a casual observer. Yet, this «lot» presents a huge problem for the Kazakh authoritarian political system. In particular, we are talking about the interrelationship difficulties between the akims and the leaders of the ruling party.

The thing is that, when the nominal duality of power was formed in Kazakhstan, the regional «leaders of the nation» found themselves under dual supervision. As heads of the administrative regions and the cities of the national significance, they are supervised by the President who appoints them. But as heads of the Nur Otan party branches, they are directly subordinated to the First Deputy Chairman of this organisation.

However, oftentimes, due to certain subjective and objective reasons, the political and private interests of Kossym-Jomart Tokayev abd Bauyrzhan Baybek do not correspond at all. 

The reasons why the akims of the regions and the cities of the national significance have found themselves in such a sticky situation are quite clear — after handing over his presidential chair and authorities to his successor, Nursultan Nazarbayev has ensured that he still retains his direct influence over the regional leaders. However, since the Elbasy can no longer supervise them on an everyday basis, he has appointed Baybek (in our opinion, one of the country’s most deedful, independent and ambitious political players) his First Deputy Chairman of the party.

And even though the press or social networks have mentioned nothing about it, the January 10 elections were preceded by a lengthy, very complex and energy-sapping political balancing. For instance, regarding the issue of who would be included in the Nur Otan electoral lists.

Of course, Nursultan Nazarbayev and his allies had tried to maximally simplify the resolving of this issue via allocating a special quota for themselves — the Library had simply named those whom it wanted to see as deputies and the rest had simply contented. Not silently perhaps but definitely not publicly. 

However, when the national quota was closed, a real political fight between elite groups had begun in the regions. And it was at this level that the akims of the regions and the cities of the national significance had an advantage over the other players. Of course, not always and not everywhere but, in the regions, headed by the old school akims and not the newcomers appointed in the past couple of years it was indeed the case.

Since the information on the political landscapes of the regions usually remains top-secret (if only because no strangers are accepted in this community) it is extremely difficult to understand what is happening.

For this reason, we were very keen to learn from one of our insiders how Akim of the Turkistan region Umirzak Shukeyev, one of the most experienced, wordly-wise and successful akims in the country, had bested First Deputy Chairman of Nur Otan Bauyrzhan Baybek. Because he needed to have his own man at the right post.

Cutting a long story short, we are talking about certain Auyen Kenes Auyenuly, the Director of the Turkestan regional branch of the government-owned enterprise Kazvodkhoz whom Umirzak Shukeyev as the Chairman of the Turkistan regional branch of Nur Otan proposed as a deputy candidate for the maslikhat of the Turkistan region.

However, the thing is that, as follows from the documents we have in our possession, the mentioned person is also involved in an administrative case, has been numerously penalised in the line of duty and, what’s more, a criminal case has been opened against him. Since we cannot verify these documents, we will not reveal their content, but we will say that it is quite impressive.

The reason why Shukeyev took such a risk is simple — he needed his own people at the right posts and the government-owned enterprise Kazvodkhoz is his structure that is going to be used in the dismemberment of big governmental investments in the reclamation works and the introduction of the new irrigation systems needed to increase the size of the irrigated agricultural areas in the region.

At the same time, the Akim of the Turkestan region is aware that Auyen was fired from his post by Kazvodkhoz CEO’s order of May 13, 2020, due to a law violation and the trial has not ended yet.

By the way, according to our insiders, the problem of the mandatory checking of the nominees’ data by the law-enforcement agencies was solved by yet another Auyen’s protector. In this case, we are talking about Khakim Kushkaliyev. According to his bio, he is a 3rd grade state councillor of justice and, currently, occupies the post of the Head of the Turkestan branch of the Kazakh Anti-Corruption Agency.

Such is one case of promoting right people with dubious reputation as deputies for you.


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