Kazakhstan Finally Sets Date for Election

by Nathan Hamm on 8/19/2005 · 1 comment

RFE/RL reports that Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Court has chosen a presidential election date, ending quite a bit of confusion and stalling.

Experts say Nazarbaev is likely to win the early December poll, as his popularity remains high. The Kazakh parliament abolished presidential term limits in October 1998. If he wins, this would be Nazarbaev’s third term in office.

Critics say the last-minute decision to set an early date works to the distinct disadvantage of the political opposition, which is seen as weak, fragmented, and poorly organized. Dosym Satpaev, a political analyst with the Risk Assessment Group analytical center in Almaty, told RFE/RL: “The delay of the decision on a final election date was nothing but a deliberate political move by the government. It was aimed at misleading the opposition, which was unable to distribute its human, financial, and information resources [for the election campaign] before the final legal decision was made.”

That may be, but I sincerely doubt that had the decision been made much earlier the odds of the opposition would be all that much better.


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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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