The original model of political transformation
On January 19, decrees of President K.-Zh. Tokayev on the dissolution of the lower house of parliament (Majilis) and the dissolution of regional people's assemblies of deputies (maslikhats). By decrees, early parliamentary elections for March 19 and an instruction from the CEC to organize the preparation of elections in the regions are scheduled. It is possible that something like our "single voting day" will be organized. These elections should complete the transformation of the political system of our neighbors in accordance with plan "September 1 reforms".
Until the election of a new lower house of parliament, legislative powers will be exercised by the upper house - the Senate of the Republic, a significant part of whose composition (40%) went through the procedure of their midterm elections a week ago. Twenty out of fifty seats were elected. And here it is interesting to see that out of these twenty places, sixteen were occupied by new faces. This is a remarkable ratio, given that ten seats in the upper house are officially appointed directly by the President of the Republic.
Actually, a feature of the future elections in Kazakhstan will not be the emergence of some new political forces to the world, but the most complete renewal of the composition of the parliament from the main parties. And in this case, such renewal goes hand in hand with the renewal of local executive authorities (akimats). That is, the question is not whether the three main parties will win, but in what updated composition they will be represented in the Mazhilis and in the regions.
In order to consolidate this renewal, Tokayev changed the balance between party-list elections and single-mandate constituencies. If before that almost all deputies were elected on party lists and 9 out of 107 - by the Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan (that is, they were actually approved in Akorda), now the proportion will be 70% on party lists and 30% on single-mandate constituencies, at the level of regional councils the proportion will be 50% to 50%, at the district level - 100% will be elected by a single-seat system.
The author has repeatedly noted a rather unusual model of political transformation for the region, which has been repeatedly demonstrated by the leadership of Astana. A kind of "method of optimal solutions". Tokayev did not begin to form in advance a separate political force "in the center", he simply transformed the ruling "Nur Otan" into "Amanat", giving almost a year for the representatives and henchmen of his predecessor to decide on the position, and then - "whoever left, he gone". But to decide is not just a set of words in this case, since a significant part of the positions in the local executive power was quite naturally represented by this party. The new electoral system will also allow Astana to expand the representation of Russians and the Russian-speaking population in the system of local councils without emphasizing it.
And now, already in the midterm elections to the Senate, it becomes clear that the renewal at all levels below will be very significant. That is, without significantly changing the political map as such, Tokayev replaces the personnel in it, which, in fact, will constitute the de facto centrist bloc that will carry out the September 1 reform program from top to bottom. Before the lower house of parliament was dissolved, Tokayev carried out the abolition of the constitutional law “On the first president of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbasy”, and even earlier the state celebration of the “day of the first president” was also canceled. With the abolition of the law "On the First President ...", N. Nazarbayev's immunity was lifted not only for his actions in the presidency, but also after his departure.
However, a specific and practical interest in this case is another provision of this law, namely Art. 3:
“Inviolability extends to all property owned by the right of private property to the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbasy and members of his family living with him, as well as to the residential and office premises used by them, official vehicles, means of communication, correspondence, documents belonging to them. Inviolability also extends to property belonging to the fund of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbasy and other legal entities established by him.
Actually, with this Tokayev put a logical, although not yet final, point in the clan confrontation in the republic. The final one will be set after the March elections. The case of the riots in January last year is far from over, and Tokayev is not going to make any special concessions in terms of control over energy and financial assets to the team of his predecessor, especially since his “public consensus” on democratization and social reforms is not least built on this. . There is also the issue of strengthening investments, which Kazakhstan traditionally attracts from China, Britain and the Netherlands, because in September last year, collecting assets back, Tokayev announced the expansion of privatization opportunities.
Our politicians, including the expert community and the media, will have to get used to such work “according to the method of optimal decisions” in cooperation with Kazakhstan. For example, the author predicts that in order to facilitate the so-called. "Language issue" after the full launch of the reforms, Astana will conduct an accelerated course of practical translation into Latin. In the local discourse, everyone will have to get used to this and, oddly enough, “ultra-nationalists” and “Russian-speakers”, while Russian will formally remain the second state. In reality, the very process of such a transition can turn out to be very non-trivial even for those who have previously uploaded videos “for the language”. For Russian speakers, this will definitely be an informational occasion, and for Astana, it will be the “optimal solution”.
And so in everything. “Relocators” left the mobilization, please relocate, just do not forget that the free period of stay is shortened, and in Astana hotels a “fee” of 5% per day of the cost of living is charged. Sign contracts for the supply and transit of “sanctions”, but do not forget to issue a customs certificate, etc., etc. the framework of the "method of optimal solutions" will not do. Even the arrival of deputies from “environmentalists” (and they will definitely be there) will enable Astana to integrate into various “climatic” dialogues, and quite organically.
Single payment instrument for Central Asia
In Russia, there has been (and is still being) a public discussion about projects under the general name “USSR-2.0” for quite a long time, they say, sooner or later, under the umbrella of either the EAEU or some other, greater Eurasia will unite into a new formation. The March elections in Kazakhstan will not immediately close such a discussion, but they will open another one - more realistic and pragmatic, how to build long-term relations in the most optimal way there.
In fact, this already became clear after the October SCO summit, and in December, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, two permanent regional rivals, signed a Union Treaty, various forms of such interaction with Kyrgyzstan are being discussed. That is, the region itself forms its core, even taking into account a decent difference in the direction of the search for investments: Kazakhstan - Britain, the Netherlands, China, Uzbekistan - the UAE. Such processes of searching for forms of regional "self-integration" could be observed all summer and autumn, some steps were also written on the pages of the Military Review.
All this does not mean some kind of catastrophe, but it requires finally to look at things realistically. The EurAsEC and EAEU formats are more than 20 years old, but the volume of foreign trade between Kazakhstan and Russia does not exceed 6% of the total foreign trade turnover of this neighboring state. No matter how hard the team of S. Glazyev fought, our financial elite did not want to push through and finance non-primary exports, and indeed work in this direction. This is not only with Kazakhstan, you can take any republic and look at the indicators - the common space was normatively formed, but there was nothing special to fill. With Kazakhstan, there are still indicators - $ 24 billion, which are high relative to other countries, at least due to raw materials and fertilizers.
It is not worth giving up the experience gained and developments in these formats, it provides not only finance or trade flows, but also interaction as such, joint planning and coordination tools, and this is not bad in the current situation. Now we need to consider ourselves from a purely pragmatic point of view, rather, as part of a large “eastern economic cluster”, although it would be ironic if this year it is Kazakhstan that comes up with the initiative to create a single payment instrument for Central Asia, and this initiative is accepted by the neighbors.