Saturday, March 06, 2021

Kazakhstan: A model of evolutionary succession of power

Jun 29. 2020
The First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – The Leader of the Nation 
N. Nazarbayev
The First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – The Leader of the Nation N. Nazarbayev
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This year, on July 6, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – The Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev, will turn 80. Significantly, on the same day of 1992, Kazakh-Thai relations were established.

N. Nazarbayev has been the guiding force of the Republic of Kazakhstan since its inception in 1991, leading the country for nearly 30 years until March 19, 2019.

It is worth noting that two years after his election, H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev paid an official visit to the Kingdom of Thailand and met with H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and the Prime Minister at the time, H.E. Mr. Chuan Leekpai.

In July, 1993 meeting of the President of Kazakhstan Mr. Nazarabayev with the Prime Minister of Thailand Mr. Leekpai

Once Kazakhstan gained its independence, the First President emphasized the development of society for the next generation. Already at that time, Nazarbayev knew that the world was at the dawn of a great innovative and technical future and that it was necessary to plan the development of the young state based on the general consolidation of history and the specific conditions of the country. It was also a challenge for Kazakhstan to completely form a new political and economic system, moving away from a socialist system to one based upon capitalism.

Analyzing this whole situation, President Nazarbayev set the course for Kazakhstan’s development through strategic initiatives and development programs. These included “Kazakhstan 2030”, “Kazakhstan 2050”, “Social Modernization of Kazakhstan: Twenty Steps to the Universal Labor Society”, Patriotic Act “Mangilik El”, the manifesto “Peace. XXI Century”, “Nurly Zhol” - the Path to the Future, the Program of Modernization of Public Consciousness “Rukhani Zhangyru”, the program “Seven Faces of the Great Steppe”, and many others.

The First President attached exceptional importance to foreign policy. Effective diplomacy has become one of the key tools in ensuring the sovereignty and security of Kazakhstan, and consistent promotion of the country’s national interests. Given the realities of the modern multi-polar world order, he established international contacts and ties, and built a foreign policy founded on the principles of multi-vector cooperation and pragmatism.

Despite various promises and exhortations, he decided to forge the security of the country along the path of creating not a nuclear, but a responsible state. Having closed the world’s largest nuclear test site at Semipalatinsk, and refusing to rank fourth on the scale of its nuclear arsenal, Nursultan Nazarbayev carried out a truly great act of history, setting an example of a peace-loving policy not in words but in actions.

Because of the infrastructure of trust and reliability, close international cooperation and partnership, Kazakhstan has achieved significant results. Constructive and trusting relations were established with all neighboring countries, and for the first time in history, Kazakhstan gained international recognition of its borders along the entire perimeter. This was a key and decisive achievement, marking a particularly important milestone in the advancement of the state.

The pragmatic approach of the First President in matters of establishing and developing international cooperation ensured the achievement of mutually beneficial agreements. These agreements attracted investments in the national economy worth billions.

Nursultan Nazarbayev became the main inspirer and organizer of integration processes in the Eurasian district. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia and the Eurasian Economic Union, a powerful integration association of the participating countries for the free movement of goods, services, capital and labor, became the institutional expression.

 At the initiative of N. Nazarbayev, many internationally significant events were held, such as the historic OSCE summit in the capital of Kazakhstan, the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the annual Astana Economic Forum and the World Exhibition EXPO 2017.

Initiatives of Nursultan Nazarbayev in the field of global and regional security, and the creation of new international structures to build confidence, cooperation and partnership have strengthened the country’s position in the world arena. His deep understanding of the conditions and interconnections of geopolitical processes and internal challenges allowed Kazakhstan to successfully move forward, eliminating the danger of many threats and risks. Active peacekeeping efforts in resolving conflicts and contradictions in the region earned him the sincere respect and trust of the entire international community.

According to many politicians and public figures, Nursultan Nazarbayev is one of the recognized world leaders with truly global thinking. Peaceful, strong, with a consolidated society and a united nation, open and aspiring to the future, Kazakhstan today is the outcome of the First President, whose greatness and depth of personality have already stood the tests of time and life.

The process of transformation of the country, led by N. Nazarbayev, was accompanied by a change in public consciousness, since, according to Elbasy, it is important for Kazakhstan to maintain its identity, moving along the highway of world progress.

These goals were reinforced by systematic long-term measures that put the process of spiritual revival of the people on a solid scientific and institutional basis. The provisions formulated by Nursultan Nazarbayev in the national program “Rukhani Zhagyru” on the importance of preserving the spiritual heritage, the national code, and the continuity of generations have become a valuable instruction for our youth.

The Embassy of Kazakhstan in Bangkok organized the “First Online Film Festival from Kazakhstan in the Kingdom of Thailand” from June 27 to July 6, 2020, where you can also watch a film about the First President of Kazakhstan - Elbasy N. Nazarbayev, entitled “The path of the Leader. Astana”.

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Tokayev continues the development vision 

On March 19, 2019, Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation as President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, explaining that he and his generation had done everything they could for the Republic. The world is changing, new people must now solve the problems of their time and make the country even better.

The decision to remove himself from power reflected the high political culture of both Nursultan Nazarbayev himself and the citizens of the country, which over 28 years of independence have managed to nurture a generation of courageously forward-moving, educated and respectable people, loving of their homeland of Kazakhstan.

Based on the Constitutional Law, the Leader of the Nation, by virtue of its historical mission, will continue to head the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, Chair the Security Council, be a member of the Constitutional Council, and also remain as the Chairman of the Nur Otan Party.

In June Kazakhstan held an extraordinary presidential election, according to the results of which – Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was elected as President of Kazakhstan.

Mr. Tokayev is a very recognizable person, both in Kazakhstan and in the international community, who continues along the course set by the First President.

The Head of State K. Tokayev and the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Leader of the Nation N. Nazarbayev

Kassym-Jomart Tokaev has repeatedly noted the historical scale of the personality of N. Nazarbayev and his achievements in the formation and prosperity of an independent Kazakhstan. The Head of State also emphasized that he plans to direct his knowledge and experience to the utmost in ensuring the continuity of the strategic course of Elbasy.

In his first speech as President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev voiced his vision of ways to solve the main problems of concern facing modern Kazakhstan’s society.

After the first year, President Tokayev has ensured a smooth and stable transfer of power, which is a key condition for the transition. On the one hand, he continues to implement the current state course. On the other hand, he has brought a new impetus, ensuring evolutionary development. Nursultan Nazarbayev, as a nationwide leader, fully supports President Tokayev. Ensuring the continuity of power, the second leader of Kazakhstan has laid a new vector for state development based on social dialogue, pluralism of opinions and diversity of views.

The period of political transition in Kazakhstan has coincided with global changes and transformations, which have also left their mark on the actions of the new President. Kazakhstan has also faced the task of not only following its own path, but also, in view of the country’s international obligations, demonstrated the immutability of agreements with its partners, stability in the current development and its efforts to reach new growth horizons.

New internal political paradigms have been established: “a state that listens”, “different opinions – one nation”, “successful economic reforms are impossible without modernization of the country’s socio-political life”, “Strong President – an influential Parliament – an accountable Government”.

One of the key points of Tokayev’s presidential agenda was the creation of the National Council of Public Trust, which includes well-known politicians, public figures, economists and intellectuals. The work of the National Council is carried out in political, social and economic areas, and the most urgent and acute issues of state development are included on the agenda.

The Head of the State has demonstrated a genuine interest in social dialogue and the joint development of decisions that will determine the progress of the state. Based on the results of several meetings with the participation of the President, a package of important political reforms was developed and adopted, impacting the laws on peaceful assemblies, the law on elections, the law “On Political Parties”, and enshrining in practice the principles of political pluralism.

Over the course of the past year, President Tokayev has implemented a set of measures aimed at improving the social well-being of both individual segments of the population and society as a whole. An amnesty on loans was implemented in the country for mothers with large families, families with children with disabilities, orphans, and families who do not have an income provider. Overall, more than 500,000 people were impacted by the amnesty. Thus, citizens who were facing difficulties in their lives were freed from debt. A system of social support for the population is developing. As of this year, student scholarships and salaries of public sector employees — educators, employees of civil protection bodies and the law enforcement bloc — have increased.

One of the principles of President Tokayev is that stability is not the only important factor – it is also necessary to ensure that every citizen of the country feels safe. In order to strengthen the system of protecting human rights and public safety in 2019, in his message to the Nation, the Kazakh leader instructed authorities to toughen criminal penalties for drug trafficking, rape, human trafficking, poaching, etc.

The first months following the transition of power were a time of substantial discussion, emotions and expectations for the future. In addition to political transition, which affects all processes in the state, an additional test during the year was a series of crises in the country, which seemed to specifically test the strength of the Kazakh statehood.

The pandemic of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, which surrounded Kazakhstan due to outbreaks in neighbouring countries, has been one such crisis. Tokayev confidently led the Kazakh citizens through the state of emergency and full quarantine, introduced for the first time in Kazakhstan, which lasted for two months. Today, the country is emerging from the pandemic with minimal losses and is gradually recovering.

From the first days of the presidency, Tokayev set the Government of Kazakhstan the task of developing a set of measures to stimulate economic growth, improve fiscal and monetary policies, develop entrepreneurship, and support domestic producers. The President’s attention was focused on the socio-economic development of the country, the formation of the revenue side of the state budget, and the reduction of the dependence of the Kazakh economy on energy exports.

The decline in global demand for raw materials, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, has led to a sharp slowdown in economic activity in all countries of the world. These factors have impacted the economy of Kazakhstan, the number of jobs and the welfare of the people as well. Despite the global negative trend, which has influenced Kazakhstan, the country has sufficient fiscal capabilities and foreign exchange reserves to support businesses and domestic demand.

The government has kept the situation under tight control, and has all the necessary resources to ensure socio-economic stability in the country. Kazakhstan’s international reserves in foreign currency today amount to more than 30 billion US dollars, and the assets of the National Fund of Kazakhstan exceed 58 billion dollars.

In response to external challenges, President Tokayev is promoting a package of measures to stimulate the economy, in virtue of which the current crisis can create conditions for economic diversification, lessening excessive dependence on the oil and gas sector. The EBRD expects a decline in Kazakhstan’s GDP in 2020 by 3%, while, as a result of the package of economic measures adopted in Kazakhstan, international economists forecast a resumption of economic growth in 2021 at 5.5%.

Through his victory in the presidential election, Tokayev ensured international legitimacy of the transit of power. All key geopolitical centres recognized Tokayev’s victory, demonstrating interest in the country’s stable and sustainable development. Upon taking office, President Tokayev reaffirmed the country’s foreign policy. The head of state met with the leaders of key geopolitical centres and Kazakhstan’s strategic partners – Russia, China, the US, EU countries, Central Asia and the Islamic world.

During this year, a new concept of foreign policy was adopted, which outlines the priorities of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy until 2030. In addition to Kazakhstan’s traditional foreign policy directions aimed at constructive cooperation with foreign partners, promoting international cooperation and regional integration, initiatives to strengthen global security also cover new areas.

Much attention in the new concept is paid to strengthening the economic component of foreign policy, focused on creating external conditions for realizing the economic potential of Kazakhstan and finding profitable transit corridors to world markets under the conditions of sanctions, unpredictability, trade wars and protectionism. Under the new global geo-economic realities, Kazakhstan is optimistic in its search for new economic niches and one of the priority areas is Southeast Asia, in particular the Kingdom of Thailand.


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