Democracy Rising

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Kazakh State of the Nation

Nursultan Nazarbayev gives his State of the Nation - the Kazakhstani equivalent of the State of the Union address - tomorrow evening. Should be interesting to see how he handles the current debarcle in regard to the slaying of Altynbek Sarsenbayev. I'll give you any soundbites or quotes from the Prez, here, tomorrow evening.

What is the State of the Kazakh nation though? Generally i'd say good, strong economy - in need of diversification mind you - the roots of Democracy, relative stability, a fairly neutral foreign policy, growing influence. Has the murder changed Kazakh's political environment? A lot of people are wondering, but I don't think much will happen. In spite of the murder, Nazarbayev is very popular. In addition several officials have been arrested, their motives seem plausible, there appears to be no link directly to the President. The opposition have held a protest, which despite some trouble, went better than I had expected. If anything Nazarbayev is coming out looking fairly good. Thus, no need for a harsh clamp down. The opposition still poses no threat, it doesn't have the momentum, the ideas to gain power. My prediction now - more of the same. Opposition papers sporadically closed, but no drastic change.

One other point, the article link I posted on thursday, before the alleged organiser was named, seemed to have hit things pretty much on the head. An influential figure settling an old score - well that's what the Kazakh police are saying as a motive. Stay tuned, it's cooling, but the fire isn't out yet...


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