New parliament not to change Kazakhstan’s political panorama

Kazakhstan Materials 18 January 2012 17:14 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 18 / Trend E. Kosolapova/

The new Parliament will not bring significant changes to the political panorama of Kazakhstan, a European expert on Central Asia Nicolas de Pedro believes.

"Nur Otan retains a big and the most relevant majority in the new parliament. Moreover, Ak Zhol and the Kazakh Communist Party support the president's regime," de Pedro, a researcher at CIDOB in Spain, told Trend over phone.

Early elections of members of the Majilis (lower chamber of the Parliament) were held in Kazakhstan on Jan.15. According to final election results, the National Democratic Party Nur Otan Party, headed by the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, which was the only party presented in former Kazakh Parliament, won 83 seats in the Majilis, the Democratic Party Ak Zhol got eight seats, whilst the Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan - seven seats.

According to de Pedro, the whole process of parliament changing since the adoption of the amendments in 2008 to the early parliamentary elections was controlled by Kazakh Authorities and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in particular.

The amendments made to Constitution in 2008 envisage presence of at least two parties in Kazakhstan's Majilis.

"The main goal wasn't to put the basis for a genuine pluralism, but to diminish the criticism from internal and external actors through the establishment of an artificial pluralism at the parliament," de Pedro said.

Meanwhile, the key question now is whether the political system of Kazakhstan will remain effective to tackle with a seemingly growing social unrest among many citizens of Kazakhstan tired of the unbalanced redistribution of the wealth, de Pedro believes. "However, this question is yet open."

Mass riots with participation oil-workers hit the Kazakh city of Zhanaozen in the Mangistau region on Dec. 16. Some 16 people were killed and more than 100 injured as a result. The riots followed numerous strikes organized by oil companies' employees, who demanded higher wages. Now the Kazakh Government takes measures to solve the problems of these oil-workers.