Dishonoring Father

by Nathan Hamm on 8/18/2005

Ferghana.Ru reports that Dariga Nazarbayeva is publicly criticizing her father over government plans to sell its 49% interest in Razvedka-Dobycha KazMunaiGaz. Nazarbayeva’s party is often critical of but also claims it supports the president.

Dariga regularly criticizes pro-presidential forces and first and foremost Otan party (Fatherland) led by President Nazarbayev himself. At the same time, Dariga always points out that her party supports the president and promises its support in the election too.

Asar’s latest statement revived the rumors on Dariga’s opposition to the regime. Tulegen Askarov, a prominent Kazakh journalist and economic observer, believes nevertheless that Dariga is on her father’s side in this particular situation. “This is just an attempt to put out feelers and gauge public reaction,” Askarov said. “Razvedka-Dobycha is not the only company to be put up for sale in London later this year. A major chunk of Kazakhmys [the largest producer of copper in Kazakhstan – Nezavisimaya Gazeta] will be offered for sale too. That is why it is necessary to gauge public opinion now, on the eve of the presidential election. From the political point of view, this “survey” is quite logical.”

So, what is to be made of Nazarbayeva and her party, Asar? Is she genuinely opposed to her father’s politics or is Asar something like a (non-crazy) LDPR?

In other Kazakh political news, half of the Senate will be selected tomorrow. By government officials…

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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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