Expert: Random individuals will not come to power as result of regional head elections in Kazakhstan

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 14 / Trend E. Kosolapova /

Randomly elected individuals and those disliked by the government will not appear as a result of appointing the akims (governors) in Kazakhstan at the grassroots level through the elections, Kazakh political analyst Eduard Poletaev said today.

"In general, the preventive mechanisms are observed in these elections," he told Trend. "First, they will be held in August. This is quite a dead political season, when everybody is at the cottages and on vacation. One must not expect great political activity. Second, key political figures, included in the so-called Block A after the administrative reform, are governors of large areas and cities. They will not be elected. Therefore, they will be able to quite effectively control all the grassroot organizations."

Moreover, local Maslikhats, i.e. regional deputies, representing the ruling Nur Otan party, will approve the candidatures of the people's representatives at the grassroots level.

On the other hand, such a system will guarantee that the random amateurs will not come to power.

According to the expert, electing governors of settlements, villages and towns will be an important action for Kazakhstan's further movement towards democratization.

"I think that quite significant conclusions will be made after the elections," he said. Anyway, that long-term preparation for this event in the country and repeated statements on this issue make it clear that the authorities pay special attention to this issue. If the results are satisfactory for the authorities and the public, one can expect some more significant actions in the future, perhaps, the next parliamentary elections or any other processes on democratization."

According to the analyst, the election of local authorities will not lead to an increase in the level of corruption in the region, as control over the funds has been recently strengthened as has the number of criminal and administrative cases filed against corrupt officials, thus frightening local authorities. In addition, the dual control over local leaders by both the inspection bodies and the voters, who pushed them through elections, will be more effective.

Moreover, in his view, giving local governors more authority over revenues and expenditures of regional budgets will help to direct resources to the most appropriate regional projects.

"In Kazakhstan, there are a number of government programs that are designed to support the development of villages and small towns. But in practice, funds are not always allocated within the state program for the most urgent and essential needs of the population. For example, the mayor of a small town with population of 10,000- 20,000 people understands the need to allocate money for the construction of a fountain, reconstruction of a kindergarten or something more important. However, regional authorities assign road repairs, which are quite normally operating. There are many examples like this one. It would be easier and more efficient for local authorities to manage this budget," the expert said.

According to Poletaev, today's control system should switch to certain level of independence of its grassroots structures.

"And if this (the election of governors at lower-level) is effective, we will be able to discuss the election of leaders at a higher regional level," Poletaev said.

Earlier, the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the Law "On amendments and additions to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the development of local self-government," which provides for the election of governors of district towns, townships, villages, rural areas by the deputies of maslikhats, and increases financial and economic independence of governors of the lower-level management in addressing issues of local importance.

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