Kazakhstan. According to
Countryaah.com, Kazakhstan ended its term during the UN
Security Council together with Sweden, the Netherlands,
Ethiopia and Bolivia. At the beginning of the year, the
country's President Nursultan Nazarbayev met US President
Donald Trump at the White House, among other things, to
discuss strategic partnerships on regional security and
economic cooperation, as well as the international issues
that Kazakhstan would face in the UN.
Talks on the Syrian war continued in the capital Astana
between the foreign ministers of the Russian Federation,
Iran and Turkey. The so-called Asta process, which began
formally in Kazakhstan's capital in 2015, had its eleventh
meeting in November, but no concrete results were presented.
In February, President Nazarbayev issued a decree
repealing the October 2017 decision to switch from the
Cyrillic alphabet to a Latin one. Now you should instead use
the same as in Turkmenistan, although Latin but with Turkish
as a base. The shift from Cyrillic letters to Latin was seen
as a mark on the Russian Federation since relations with
Moscow have been strained by, among other things, the
Ukrainian crisis and the Russian annexation of the Crimean
Peninsula in 2014. According to the new decree, Kazakhstan
has seven years to completely transition to the new
In September, President Nazarbayev appointed a new Chief
of Staff, 47-year-old Asset Issekeshev. This sparked
speculation that the country might be about to get a new
leader after 78-year-old Nazarbayev, who ruled the country
for nearly three decades. Nazarbayev, who has never
appointed a successor, has not yet given any indication as
to whether he is running for re-election in 2020.
In January, at least 52 people, all Uzbekistanis, were
killed in a bus crash in the Aktau region in the
northwestern parts of the country when the bus caught fire;
only five passengers could get out of the burning bus.
An accident occurred in October in connection with a
rocket launch in Kazakhstan. The crew, a Russian cosmonaut
and an American astronaut, on the Sojuz spacecraft were
forced to make a (successful) emergency landing in a
capsule. According to NASA, problems with the launch rocket
may have caused the accident. The spacecraft was on its way
to the International Space Station ISS when it was
Kazakhstan's contemporary history is the country's
history after 1991. Between 1920 and 1991, Kazakhstan was
part of the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union
disintegrated in 1991, Kazakhstan became an independent
country. The President of the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan,
Nursultan Nazarbayev, initially resisted dissolving the
Soviet Union, but retained power for independence.
After independence, Kazakhstan has continued to have a
close connection with Russia. President Nazarbayev is also
trying to forge ties with the other Central Asian countries,
the Middle East and the West.
The policy is dominated by the party Nur Otan (the
Democratic People's Party), led by President Nazarbayev.
Kazakhstan has an authoritarian regime.
The largest group of people is Kazakhs. There is also a
large group of Russians living in Kazakhstan, as well as a
number of other minorities. Kaskahstan has the largest
economy of the Central Asian countries, mainly due to oil
In December 1991, just before the Soviet Union disbanded,
Nursultan Nazarbayev was elected President of Kazakhstan. He
has since been a dominant figure in Kazakh politics. By a
referendum in April 1995, he was allowed to extend his term
of office until 2000. At the same time, Kazakhstan's Supreme
Soviet was forcibly dissolved and replaced by a new, smaller
national assembly, Madsjilis. The 1995 Constitution gives
the president very wide powers.
The Nazarbayev regime has called for close cooperation in
the Commonwealth of independent states in general and with
Russia in particular. Kazakhstan has signed a number of
agreements with neighboring states on economic and political
integration, most ambitious is the four-state agreement with
Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan in March 1996. Nazarbayev is
committed to developing Kazakhstan into an over-ethnic
nation state with equal rights and opportunities for all
population groups, but very Many non-Kazakhs still feel weak
belonging to this state. The policy of equality is not
consistently implemented, and the tendencies of favoring
ethnic Kazakhs have been strengthened rather than weakened
In 1998, the country's capital was moved from Almaty to
the newly built city of Astana. In 1999, President
Nazarbayev was re-elected for seven new years with over 80
percent of the vote, but the election was criticized by
In 2000, Parliament gave Nazarbayev so many privileges
that he could almost be considered a lifetime president. His
main political opponent, former Prime Minister Akezhan
Kazhegeldin, was sentenced that year to ten years in
absentia for abuse of power and corruption. In 2001,
Nazarbayev came to Norway to visit oil installations.
The terrorist campaign in the United States in September
2001 helped to strengthen Nazarbayev's power position.
Referring to the threat posed by militant Islamist groups in
the region, he also tightened control over the political
opposition; and several parties and newspapers were banned.
Several key opposition politicians have also been killed in
In 2007, the National Assembly voted for Nazarbayev to
sit in power indefinitely, and in 2010 he was given the
official title of Elbasy, or "The Leader of the Nation."
The previous presidential election took place on April
26, 2015, when Nazarbayev was elected to the presidential
office for the fifth time with 97.7 percent of the vote.
International observers from the OSCE pointed out that the
choice was characterized by a lack of real alternatives, and
by restricting freedom of expression and access to
independent media. The other two presidential candidates
(1.61 percent and 0.64 percent of the vote) are considered
purely "technical" candidates, used to give the impression
of a real choice between three alternatives.
The previous parliamentary elections took place on March
20, 2016. President Nazarbayev's party Nur Otan took 82.2
percent of the vote, thus 84 of a total of 98 seats in
parliament. Kazakhstan's Democratic Party Ak Zhol and
Kazakhstan's Communist People's Party got 7 seats each,
which is roughly the same result as during the previous
parliamentary elections in 2012. International OSCE
observers pointed out that although the election was
technically successful, it took place on the basis of
significant restriction of civil and political rights.