Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is set to address Parliament today and announce a new set of political reforms.
The elections for the lower house saw ruling party Nur Otan emerge victorious, amassing 71.1% of votes. Despite the presence of two other parties, their platforms are largely in line with Nur Otan, which stoked criticism over the lack of a real opposition. The Nationwide Social Democratic Party, the main opposition party, boycotted the election entirely, making a statement about the lack of choices.
Although President Tokayev is an ardent supporter of political reforms, what exactly he aims to change has not been delineated or specified. Tokayev’s record implementing reforms is mixed, with success in instituting a quota for women in party membership, but a failed reform regarding the legality of demonstrations. Expect a continuation of the status quo as the ruling party has little incentive to put effort into reaching these reforms after a landslide election. Additionally, ex-President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s continued control over the ruling party poses a further challenge for Tokayev. However, Kazakhstan may find itself becoming more unstable in the long term as protests on election day forced riot police to detain activists and shut down demonstrations.
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Ali is a Copy-Editor and Analyst on Daily Brief team, contributing regularly to the Daily Brief. He also leads the Foreign Brief Week in Review multimedia team. He focuses on political and development issues in the Middle East and North Africa.