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No. 20 (20) December 2005
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Kazakhstan
Too satisfying for a revolution.
Jaroslav Razumov
Is the development of the political situation in Kazakhstan possible according to that variant, as happened in Kyrgyzstan? This issue has become a major issue in the republic when analyzing the political processes taking place here recently, after the well-known events in Bishkek.

The fact that they are asked by experts from other countries not belonging to Central Asia is understandable: this is largely the result of a lack of awareness of the state of affairs in the countries of the region, preserved from Soviet times, of perceiving them as something very close, almost identical. Meanwhile, over the post-Soviet years, this “proximity” has already largely disappeared, the countries of Central Asia differ markedly in the ways of their development. And more than anyone else - Kazakhstan.

In our opinion, it can be said with a very high degree of certainty that the repetition of the “second Bishkek” in present-day Kazakhstan is not possible, it is almost impossible. As a matter of fact, those who adhere to the opposite point of view have only one “argument”: after all, nobody expected a revolution in Kyrgyzstan either, at least it was so fast and successful, but it happened, which means that the reproduction of such a situation in Kazakhstan cannot be excluded. The logic in this construction is very superficial, divorced from political realities.

- Will it work in Kazakhstan like in Kyrgyzstan? Most likely, no, but we must bear in mind that after this, the multivariance and the degree of their predictability have only become more complicated, said opposition political figure Peter Svoik in a commentary.

The remark is valuable, especially since its author enjoys the reputation of one of the most responsible and sensible representatives of the local opposition. For the reproduction of the "Kyrgyz experience" there must be some event that will become a "trigger" for the accumulated discontent. Those are almost always elections. “It’s unlikely that something will happen before the elections,” noted Mr. Svoik. In Kazakhstan, the date of the presidential election has not yet been definitively determined, but, most likely, this will be the end of this or next, 2006, year. That is, before these dates, the repetition of the Kyrgyz events is practically excluded - there is no “base”, a basis on which their experience could be “unwound”. And by that time, when the “electoral time” comes, the political sound of the Kyrgyz revolution may already have noticeably weakened beyond the prescription of time. But this is not only the case; there are more significant reasons that the Kyrgyz revolution will not happen again in Kazakhstan.

“Most likely, this will not happen,” remarked the Kazakhstan political scientist Nurbulat Masanov, commenting on the issue. “This is a different economic situation, another territory, because the whole of Kyrgyzstan is half the size of Almaty oblast alone, this gives rise to a phenomenon known to political scientists, called the“ despotism of space. ”

Indeed, in terms of the territory and, more importantly, in terms of population density, Kazakhstan is different from the neighboring republic, in this regard, Kazakhstan is unique in general. And to a large extent, this is what all the post-Soviet years have served as a way to quell discontent. Thus, the opposition’s attempts, taking place in the mid-1990s, to organize a march on Almaty, then the capital, from socially depressed regions, have not ended: too far. The same circumstance traditionally complicates the coordination of the opposition’s actions, and generally makes something like the “domino effect” impossible in Kazakhstani conditions: even if somewhere, something happens, as long as the information reaches the nearest populated region, the authorities controlling the information space will be able to prepare. And the fervor of the few Kazakh opposition will weaken.

Another factor of stability mentioned by Mr. Nazarbayev is a different economic and political situation than in Kyrgyzstan. It is interesting that the Almaty residents interviewed answered the question about the possibility of a repetition of the Kirghiz revolution here, something like this: do we have so many poor people? Indeed, the socio-economic situation in Kazakhstan, especially in the regions that determine the political situation in the country - Almaty, Astana, large industrial centers - is fundamentally different than in Kyrgyzstan. True, it is not worth absolutizing, as some pro-governmental media and experts do; it is not a matter of a unique experience of economic reforms, but of such a simple factor as the high incomes from the export of raw materials and during the ten years ago carried out social reforms. But the fact remains: since 1999, since the beginning of the period of rising oil prices, economic and social indicators in Kazakhstan have steadily improved. And even with a far from perfect system of redistributing these incomes at the national level, with increasing social stratification, in large cities, a very significant stratum is made up of people who are able to maintain themselves quite tolerably today. That is, the social stratum, which would unconditionally, on the move, would support the “Kyrgyz revolution in the Kazakhstan way,” is not large enough today, and besides it is also scattered over a vast territory.

Finally, another important factor: the disunity of the Kazakh opposition. All of its post-Soviet history is not only the history of the struggle against power, but also with itself. It is difficult to remember at once all attempts to unite the opposition, which have not been completed. And although recently, as the representatives of the opposing camp themselves say, progress has been made in consolidation, this still needs to be confirmed. The central government in Kazakhstan rather confidently controls the regions, both at the level of regional authorities and all state structures of a lower level. Attempts of political "separatism" and the fronde by some akims (governors) were rigidly suppressed several years ago, and this became a lesson learned for the rest.

Summing up the above, it is necessary to repeat again: the precedent of the Kyrgyz revolution cannot be reproduced in Kazakhstan. In any case, not now: for this there is not one of the necessary conditions. At the same time, this neighboring experience will, of course, become a catalyst for political processes that go on behind the scenes in Kazakhstan’s society, including, probably, making the opposition more bold and assertive. This, in turn, may push the authorities to tougher steps towards it, which, taken together, can increase the ripening tension.
DISCUSSION
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Meyrbek
[email protected]
25.05.2005, Kazakhstan, Almaty
Another factor in the direction of the impossibility of repeating the Kyrgyz scenario: 2 months have passed and Kazakhstanis see what is happening with their neighbors, lawlessness with land seizure, crowding out Russian-speaking people, selling government posts, a split among the opposition, etc. and all this can with a stretch be called anarchy. For example, I don’t want to see Kazakhstan like this after the “revolution”.
Kazakhstani women
[email protected]
05.16.2005, KAZAKHSTAN, ALMATY
Kazakhstan is the regional leader !!!! We are ahead of everyone and even Russia in many factors, but the most important thing is that the author of the article did not indicate that we are also the first in all revolutions, remember December 1986 - is this not a FIGHT FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY. So, my dear ones are with us and this is also a past stage. FORWARD, KAZAKHSTANTS !!! Young people support their PRESIDENT! So keep Mr. Nazarbayev - we support you !!
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