Kazakhstan. According to Countryaah.com, Astana is the capital city of Kazakhstan, a country located in Central Asia. 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 alphabet.
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 interrupted.
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 extraction.
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 by independence.
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 international observers.
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 recent years.
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.