Incumbent president of Kazakhstan to win stunning victory at election – expert

Incumbent president of Kazakhstan to win stunning victory at election – expert

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 26

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

In case of participation of the incumbent President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in the presidential election scheduled for April 26, the remaining candidates will have no chances to win, Kazakh political analyst, director of Risk Assessment Group Dosym Satpayev told Trend by phone Feb. 26.

The incumbent president enjoys quite serious and stable support of the people, according to expert.

"Many people now do not see any alternative," said Satpayev. "In addition, the president is seen as a kind of guarantor of a certain economic and political stability. Many ethnic minorities in Kazakhstan supported the head of state as the guarantor of interethnic stability."

The result of the election is practically preordained in such an atmosphere, and it removes any intrigue, according to expert.

"If the election is held with the participation of the incumbent president in Kazakhstan, it looks more like a re-election," he said. "With the incumbent president, the other candidates play the role of extras."

Nazarbayev will not gain fewer votes at the next presidential election than at the last one because the government is working hard towards the support of the incumbent president rising steadily, according to Satpayev.

"Every akim (governor) tries to have more people in their regions vote for the incumbent president, there is an informal competition for the highest results in support of the president," said the expert.

In the last presidential election, Nursultan Nazarbayev gained 95.5 percent of the vote.

At the same time, as the expert said, there will be nothing wrong if the incumbent president gains slightly fewer votes and the other candidates gain a little more than in the previous elections; it will show themselves to be more active in the competition.

In any case, Nazarbayev will have the majority of the vote.

Although Nazarbayev hasn't yet officially announced his participation in the election, according to Satpayev, it is unlikely that he will refuse to nominate his candidacy.

"I think the government will be afraid to do some experiments," the expert said. "Especially, in the president's address to the people [in November 2014] there was a clear hint that exactly he was called upon to take part in the election, and that the guarantees for the country's stability and development are being expected from him."

"All this suggests that he is already preparing himself as a member of the electoral campaign," the expert added.

So, according to Satpayev, the election results aren't of much interest, but the more interesting question is what will happen after the election.

Earlier, the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan voted favourably on the initiative to hold early presidential election in 2015.

On Feb. 25, the president scheduled the election for April 26.

Edited by CN

Elena Kosolapova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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