Elections Were Too Tense - Adil Kaukenov

March 25, 2023

Adil Kaukenov, Chief Expert at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies, shared his views on the past elections to the Mazhilis and Maslikhats, analyzing the actions of the parties.

"The first result was the victory of Amanat party with an overwhelming majority of votes. For some reason there was a mistaken opinion in social networks that no one would vote for the ruling party in these elections. However, even a cursory glance showed that Amanat party owns the largest number of party members. If rank-and-file party members care about Amanat as its proximity to power, which is very important in the regions, besides them the party counts very influential and ambitious party members, for whom Amanat is the main bridge to solve many problems. It was obvious that the party, finding itself in the new conditions, would fight for leadership with special persistence to prove its necessity to Akorda.

Having such human and material resources, it was a matter of technique to take the majority of votes. Therefore there was no intrigue, even more interesting, that the Auyl managed to take the second place. Rural topic, headed by Zhiguli Dairabayev, was much more effective than positioning itself as a super modern Respublica. This is quite an entertaining fact, that the party of effective city managers, threatening to take votes away from Amanat could not be more convincing than the party, purposefully working with the rural electorate.

Let's see how it will be next time and whether the ‘city’ with its technology and money can take the upper hand over the ‘countryside’ with its number of inhabitants and sustainable values. Again it is indicative that Respublica took the second place in the Maslikhat of Almaty, and the Auyl took none", - noted the expert Adil Kaukenov.

The speaker underlined that Respublica managed to pass the PPK and Aq Jol, which took the fourth and fifth places. According to him, Respublica originally competed not with Amanat, but with Aq Jol, also positioning itself as the party of business representatives. The expert believes that Respublica showed excellent results, literally putting Aq Jol on the verge of survival.
"But the PPK, although it managed to get into the Mazhilis, should seriously think about its future strategy. The refusal from name "communist", incessant squabbles and scandals inside the party, exit from it of several strong persons, in fact, leveled the political capital of the party itself and huge popularity multiplied by oratorical skill of its leader Ermuhambet Ertysbayev.

That is PPK potential was much more than 8.41%, but it managed to give its votes to active electors, and its audience was divided between the Amanat and the Respublica. One at the expense of the consensus agenda in the community, the other at the expense of the novelty of faces. In the outsiders, but still managed to cross the 5% threshold, was the NSDP. The NSDP did not offer any new ideas, so it managed to gather its classical protest electorate, but literally on its lower boundary. However, this could also be qualified as a success, since the NSDP's main rival was "Against All", gaining almost 4%. "If ‘Against All’ gained more votes than the NSDP, then for the party it would mean a complete loss of confidence of its electorate," said Adil Kaukenov.

The expert also noted that the international observers, 167 of which were registered, had a favorable attitude to the Kazakhstani elections, which was also due to the fact that the procedures were complied with. The discontent of some candidates who lost the elections did not cause any indignation either in the social networks or in the streets.

"For example, the observer missions from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Organization of Turkic States and the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic States did not see any violations. The Deputy Secretary General of the Organization of Turkic States, the head of the mission, Sadi Jafarov, noted that the election of deputies in Kazakhstan was in accordance with national legislation and international standards. The election cycle was quite long, and the Kazakhstani people are no longer waiting for the election race, but for the beginning of the fulfillment of all promises made during the elections," said Adil Kaukenov.

According to the expert, the elections turned out to be extremely tense.
"A huge number of independent candidates, stiff competition between them, new political technologies and new faces changed the very perception of electoral processes in Kazakhstan. Much has become clear about the fact that some network characters greatly overestimate their influence. The fact that people like to follow someone's page is just a kind of show "behind the glass" for them, and in reality they either do not go to vote, or vote for someone else, considering that "his" is too "his". This, by the way, is very typical of the Kazakh mentality.

And the important result was the passing of new faces and opposition party to the Parliament. The fact that the legal opposition of NSDP has not been in the Mazhilis for a long time, it was extremely bad for the NSDP itself and the Mazhilis too.

The lack of struggle led to stagnation not only in the Mazhilis, but also in the ranks of the opposition, marginalizing it to the margins of the political field. The new Mazhilis will have to change this situation and start a new page in the political and public life of the country," concluded Adil Kaukenov.

Source: kisi.kz