We Are Not Going to the Elections Because We Want to Become Deputies – Candidates Form Temporary Bloc for Election Campaign

February 20, 2023

Candidates for deputies of the Mazhilis formed their own bloc and call to vote for independent self-nominated candidates.

In Almaty, the Mazhilis candidates in single-mandate districts issued a manifesto. The bloc includes Yerlan Kaliyev, Yermurat Bapi, Sanzhar Bokayev, Mukhtar Taizhan, Aiman Tursynkan, Duman Mukhametkarim and Araylym Nazarova.

They believe that by uniting, independent candidates would have a better chance to enter the parliament. The candidates said they are united by common goals.

"We are united around common goals, which are outlined in the manifesto. We believe that only new people who didn't build the old Kazakhstan together with Nazarbayev can truly build the new Kazakhstan. We've been with our people before, we never cheated them," said Mukhtar Taizhan.
The speakers noted that the association is created only for the duration of the elections.

"We are not creating some kind of general organization, we are not creating an institutionalization. We are uniting now as independent candidates only for the time of the election. Because the parties, already having 70% in the Mazhilis - they are all pro-governmental. For the first time in 18 years we saw the right to self-nomination only this year. Uniting, we want to tell the authorities if we said we'll create a new Kazakhstan, then the elections should be new and fair," said Sanzhar Bokayev.

Almost everyone criticized the current election process and said it was necessary to build a new Kazakhstan. The parties going to the elections were noted.

"Even in single-mandate districts there are very many party members. The problem when you vote on a party list ballot is that you don't see people's names. You have no way of seeing who you are voting for. You vote for ephemeral party corruption. Then, after the votes are counted, there are headquarters within the parties, and they start an unprincipled, cynical bargain - who will buy his mandate for how much to get first on the list," said Aiman Tursynkhan.

Taizhan was asked twice about his and his son's possible connections to the ERG company and entrepreneur Aleksandr Mashevich.
"As for whether we personally, or my family, take money from Mashevich, as the question was posed, I suggest that journalists do a journalistic investigation. Then it will not be some rumors, but just facts," Taizhan answered.

"The main criterion of our association - professional qualities. There is a great deal of protest. But to criticize is one thing, but when you come to parliament - you need to work - but for this you need basic knowledge. As for Bokayev, I had no hard feelings. Everything was more or less democratic there. I respect him as a specialist who raises the issue on a professional level - the program of industrialization and the scrappage program. I think they should be welcomed by all of us," said Kaliyev.
Taizhan also made a remark.

"Remember how Bokayev came to public service in the first place. He defended the rights of right-hand drive cars before civil service and achieved success there, too. He is sitting at this table very legitimately," he noted.
Finally, Bokayev took the floor.

Bokayev asked if there was anyone in the room who he had pursued or shut down their rally, and if not, why people were spreading rumors about him. He denied allegations of being an alcoholic, LGBT, or a drug addict, stating that these were false accusations aimed at discrediting him during the election campaign. He explained that he did not aspire to be a deputy and would rather work on his projects to earn more money.

“Do you think we want to sit in the Mazhilis for five years, and it's fun on a salary of 900 thousand tenge? Not at all. I would rather work on my projects and earn more money. But why are we going? Because tomorrow society will say: why are you sitting and criticizing? That is, if you go - they criticize you, if you do not go - they also criticize you. So the pressure that society puts on us with these kinds of questions, because we are being led by the authorities, is much more pressure than the authorities put on us. Do you know how hard it is to unite? We've united to at least show that we're willing to let go of all our ambitions. Araylym is running in the same constituency as me. And if you support her, I'm ready to withdraw my candidacy today. If we come to the finish line together, we'll consult with our colleagues and decide who will run next. So we are ready for anything,” Bokayev said. Bapi left the question unanswered.

The manifesto lists five principles of change among other things:
- Accumulation of human capital into social capital, rallying the Nation through recognition of Human Life as the highest value;
- Quality of life, eco-environment and equal opportunity for everyone;
- The rule of law, the rights and freedoms of the citizen;
- Fair distribution of resources, an open and strong competitive economy with a minimized share of government;
- An effective system of government based on a fair electoral process.

Source: https://bes.media/category/vybory-2023/idyom-na-vybory-ne-potomu-chto-hotim-stat-deputatami.-kandidaty-na-vremya-obedinilis-v-blok-718