Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Monday, December 05, 2005

Democracy Rising Returns: Kazakh Election Update

After a week or so away, the blog is back, with your fix of Democracy news. What better than a Central Asian election to get my writing juices flowing?

For those of you who had never even heard of Kazakhstan, and are unaware of the political situation, here is how it looked pre-December 4th

Well the results are in and they go something like this:

91% of voters voted for Nursaltan Nazarbayev

6.6% voted for Tuyakbai (For a Fair Kazakhstan)

0.38% voted for Yerasyl Abylkasymov (Communist Party)

1.65% for candidate Alikhan Baimenov (Ak Zhol)

0.32% for Mels Yeleusizov

Unfortunately despite the rhetoric it would appear Nazarbayev's victory is tainted with violations. Interesting to note that the previous election gave the President a more 'convincing victory' and that was deemed as rigged too. Throughout the last few months the Prez has declared his intention for Kazakhstan to chair the OSCE in 2009. Unfortunately Astana isn't even a member of that organisation yet, so it's all pie in the sky for now. A flawed election is unlikely to boost the nation's credentials in that respect.

So what are the geo-political implications? Well the authoritarian Chinese and Russian governments are likely to be waiting in the wings for Nazarbayev should the west turn its back on him. However don't expect anything other than a muted condemnation from Washington. There has been some more, er, headline grabbing news today and don't forget Kazakhstan is only entering the world stage. Most people won't know where it is or even that it exists at all.

With the Egyptian elections, for example, things were different. Everyone has heard of its Pyramids and the Nile. Egypt is a regional player and that makes it all the more easy for the U.S public to empathise with people fighting a Dictatorial regime. Kazakhstan won't make this evening's news, even if it perhaps more important to western interests. Therefore expect gentle, unnoticed pressure on Astana.

Nazarbayev can't constitutionally stand again, and I don't believe even he would be foolish enough to forced through a rigged constitutional amendment twice. By the next ballot Nazarbayev will be 72, perhaps his leaving gift will be handing over to his daughter, Dariga, in that long awaited succession? The world is likely to change between now and 2012, and if Kazakhstan rises to it's rightful place on the international stage, next time a rigged election might not go unpunished.

3 Comments:

  • At 10:49 am, Anonymous Narcogen said…

    While I'm as skeptical as you about the advisability of Kazakhstan chairing OSCE in 2009, it is not nearly as fanciful as you picture it.

    For instance, you say that Kazakhstan is not yet a member of OSCE. This is not true. Kazakhstan joined the OSCE twelve years ago, in 1993.

    From OSCE.org:

    Kazakhstan
    Admission to the OSCE: 30 January 1992
    Signature of the Helsinki Final Act: 8 July 1992; signature of Charter of Paris: 23 September 1992

    Several other OSCE member states have issued statements in support of Kazakhstan's chairmanship bid.

     
  • At 10:52 am, Anonymous Narcogen said…

    Sigh. There's no comment editing feature after posting, so I'll just note here that it should read 13 years ago in 1992 above, rather than 12 years ago in 1993.

     
  • At 3:32 pm, Blogger MattyJ said…

    I stand corrected

     

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