Kazakhstan: Bureaucracy, diplomacy and personality cult

Bloggers keep on commenting political situation in Kazakhstan. megakhuimyak reports that according to the new presidential decree, the Financial Police has got extra authority, informers against corrupt officials will be awarded, the civil servants’ property and income will be monitored [ru]:

The bad thing is that now officials will stop working and making decisions at all, being too scared.

Dojdlivoe-leto informs that the largest coal mining enterprise, which forms the city economy in Ekibastuz (Eastern Kazakhstan), will be closed until autumn, and more than one thousand men and women will be left without work and salary for several months. Pribaltkz from the neighboring city of Karaganda continues studying reports of state purchases and finding oddities [ru]:

Gynaecologist center buys petrol saw and axes. I also remember how a tender for holding of Ukrainian Culture Days in Kazakhstan was won by the Tatar culture center!

Neruad is indignant at inertness of the authorities concerning the detention of Kazakh citizens in Uzbekistan [ru]:

Only two months after arrest our authorities showed interest in the fate of 27 citizens of Kazakhstan. Foreign Ministry makes lame attempts to look into the case, official media veil the incident, while relatives of the detained are almost nervously exhausted due to inactivity of the state bodies.

Katelka is surprised by her own increased politization [ru]:

I read Kazakhstani news. Earlier I could do that only twice a year. Now I do it on a daily basis, but still, I trust more to bloggers.

Meanwhile, thousand-pa reflects on a new turn in the personality cult building. The ruling party “Nur-Otan” will suggest naming the international airport of Astana after Nursultan Nazarbayev [ru]:

I think it's a bit early to name an airport after the incumbent president. They provide a number of examples of “nominative” airports – but they all were named after late personalities…

Also posted on neweurasia.net


  • The idea that fear of prosecution will lead politicians to become ineffective due to fear presupposes that allegations of abuses are due to overzealous application of authority, or is an inherent risk in the ordinary execution of their tasks.

    I’d suggest this is simply not the case. Most government functionaries at nearly all levels have side businesses and side business partners. The primary function of their jobs is to divert contracts and resources to these side business. Sometimes this is directly in line with their government responsibilities, but more often it is not (as with the example of the gynecological clinic buying inappropriate items) or even in direct opposition to it (more than half the census budget disappearing).

    It also presupposes that these officials are actually putting any effort into their jobs anyway, instead of treating them as a just reward for political loyalty which entitles them to the side benefits they avail themselves of.

    There seems to be a lot of undue attention paid to this new law, asking again if this is indicative of real efforts against corruption. Where is the evidence of that? Where is the evidence that this is anything other than the usual political infighting, with the financial police the instrument of one camp against another?

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