Ambiguity and Hidden Implications: Kazakhstani Political Scientist Analyzed the Slogans of the Parties

1st March, 2023

Kazakhstani political analyst Aidar Amrebayev believes that the distinctive feature of the current election campaign is not only variety of parties and focus on certain personalities and individuals, but also competition of slogans, ideas and election platforms.

Aidar Amrebaev on his Facebook page analyzed the form and content of the presented slogans of each party participating in the elections of deputies to Mazhilis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan and Maslikhats.

Party campaign slogans:
1. AMANAT – “Time for action!”
2. Auyl – Let’s auyl rise!
3. Respublica – “New People! New Steps!”;
4. PPC – “For the country! For the Land! Power to the people!”;
5. Baitak – “Clean Air. Clean water. Clean Earth - Clean Human Relationships”
6. Aq Jol – “Changes are inevitable”;
7. PSDP – “Freedom, Justice, Solidarity!”.

According to the political scientist, the AMANAT party slogan is in two languages and each has its own meaning.

If the Kazakh slogan 'Nar tauekel' is a kind of blessing for good deeds, expressing the strength and ability to overcome difficulties, the Russian version 'Time for action' mobilizes people for change: it is time to move from words to deeds," Amrebayev writes.

According to him, in its appeal in Russian the Auyl party focuses voters’ attention on the problems of the aul, in particular, on what is missing: the loss of traditions and the lack of a decent life of the villagers who feed the country.

In this respect, it is a slogan that states the unenviable situation of the village. The mechanisms of resolving this problem and the message to other categories of citizens are not clear," he stressed.

The Respublica Party, in its turn, states the idea of renewal, arrival of new people and new achievements only in Kazakh language.

“At that, it’s not clear in what way and what way the "new people" are going to act, what they are going to do,” stated the political scientist.

In his view, the PPK party is in fact inheriting and rephrasing the well-known Communist rhetoric.

The party declares that the land issue and the task of people's power are topical, but it makes no mention of how this could be achieved. The slogan appeals to a wide strata of the Russian-speaking population,” said Aidar Amrebayev.

The environmental party Baitak asserts the need for a kind of purification. However, as the expert notes, it is not specified how to achieve this.
The priorities are not clear: do clean air, land and water contribute to the establishment of clean human relations, or are relations between people capable of cleaning the land, air and water? The question is rhetorical," says the political analyst.

Then, Aq Jol party states the necessity of changes in two languages, but the speaker does not see who this appeal concerns and what it is supposed to do.

The changes may be ambiguous and contain hidden implications given the particular flexibility of this party and its leaders to adapt to changes in the political situation," wrote Amrebayev.

The PSDP party, according to the political scientist's observation, formulates a static set of political values without any particular dynamics or goal-setting, orientation towards certain groups of the population, or solution of certain specific problems.

Since the AMANAT party, in the opinion of many experts, today objectively occupies a dominant position due to the well-known circumstances, I would like to note that the party members approached the present elections quite responsibly, having collected the voters' orders in a special pre-election platform “Together with the people", which outlines almost the whole set of problems, concerning the population, the so-called "ten requests of citizens - ten tasks of the party”:

To live in prosperity, to have good jobs and working conditions; to feel social care; to receive quality education and medical services; to have their own housing and comfortable infrastructure; to be proud of a strong and self-sufficient economy; to revive the aul and well-being of rural residents; to be part of a single society with common values; to be on the same wave with the youth; to improve the environment: clean air, land and water; to live in a safe and legal state without corruption.

As we can see, this party is focused on addressing the entire range of vital issues. At the same time, its program also covers the zone of responsibility of other competing parties. Thus, it sets ambitious goals, not only to retain its traditional electorate, but also to claim votes of supporters of other political platforms. A challenge for the party is the possible association of voters with the former party of power. It seems that in order to avoid such a collision, the party has updated its party lists by 75%,” the author writes.

Summarizing, he notes that for all the diversity of party representation, the main emphasis of competition will be observed in single-mandate districts, where the former ruling party and its single-mandate nominees will be opposed by alternative, opposition-minded candidates.

Thus, it will be possible to fully assess the success of the party and whether AMANAT and its nominees win in the single-mandate districts,” says the political scientist.

From a statistical point of view, it's unlikely to change the balance of power in parliament, since the share of majoritarian candidates is only 30% of the total, but, symbolically, the participation of independent deputies in the legislative branch, Amrebayev said, could significantly revive parliament.
“At the local level, the maslikhats are expected to be more fidgety and will make the akims of various levels stay awake,” the political scientist concluded.