Dariga vs. Nursultan

by Nathan Hamm on 6/8/2005

Dariga Nazarbayeva, daughter of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, does not rule out the possibility that Kyrgyzstan’s revolution could be replayed in Kazakhstan. Not because the people are fed up or because the opposition is powerful, but because the lust of certain powers for “pseudo-democratic puppet governments” knows no bounds.

“In answer to the question whether Kazakhstan can see developments similar to those which happened in Kyrgyzstan I say it can,” she said at a regular session of the Asar party in Astana on Tuesday.

According to Nazarbayeva, the world is faced with a new problem, which is the export of democracy. “As a matter of fact, this is a new technology of imposing puppet governments on strategically important territory,” she added.

“Unfortunately, Kazakhstan may become a target for such pseudo-democratic pressure,” Nazarbayeva said.

From where I sit, the world is faced with the problem of retrenchment of authoritarianism creating brittle states prone to messy collapse.

At least she recognizes that Kazakhstan does have problems.

“The country is being affected by internal destructive forces. Bureaucracy has turned into a closed caste, while the parliament is not capable of controlling the power.”

“The parliament is the government’s subordinate body,” said the Asar leader, who is also a member of Majilis (the Kazakh parliament’s lower chamber).

She stressed that all these factors fueled negative trends in society and exacerbated the opposition’s radical views. At the same time, she said that “the opposition had no grass-root support.”

Interestingly, she says that media need to be free and independent for political reform–starting with the decentralization of power–to be a success. Her views make her something of an opponent of her father though she does not plan to run for the presidency.


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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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