Baltic States – CIS, Kazakhstan

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 24.09.2020, 07:11

The new President of the Republic of Kazakhstan addressed to the nation

Nataly Krumina, BC, Astana/Riga, 09.09.2019.Print version
Quite interesting events are taking place in distant Kazakhstan, which are economically important for our region. On September 2, the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, elected this year, first addressed to the people with a message in which he voiced the most important tasks facing this Central Asian state in the near future.

Kazakhstan society has been expecting the present address of K. Tokaev with great interest. Ordinary citizens want to see how the election promises of the new President will gain specific forms and programsб and they are looking for answers to questions: is the new leader able to enhance population’s quality of life, maintain and improve the state of the economy, take steps towards formation of open civil society and democratization?


In his first message to the people of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has quite clearly defined the guidelines for action for all branches of government, each head of a state body and a state company for the coming year. The President, highlighting the continuity of policy of the first President Nursultan Nazarbayev, has emphasized the need to change some approaches in work based on the principles of pragmatism and effective reforms.


The social dimension will clearly become an important component of the policy for the new head of Kazakhstan. As such, if back in August the instruction to double teachers' salaries within four years was already voiced at a conference of school teachers and educators, then in the message Tokaev has significantly extended his plans to lift the status of teachers by adopting a bill “On the status of a pedagogue”. This is a good signal to society because it is time not only to adequately pay for the work of teachers, but also to return the high status of the Teacher. The republic has rather ambitious plans to increase the expenditures on education, science and healthcare up to 10% of GDP. Kazakhstan is reaching these indicators slowly but systematically, and the availability of reserves in the National Bank and money in the National Fund keeps Kazakhstan sovereign credit rating stable, which allows us to speak with confidence about the attainability of these indicators.


The statement on ensuring the quality and accessibility of medical services sounded no less encouraging. President Tokayev has confirmed that the state will continue to maintain a guaranteed volume of free medical assistance. Then again, as well as the development of the social support system, which volume has increased by more than 17 times in the last three years.  


Tokaev realizes that social reforms are impossible without a strong and developing economy. Therefore, the head of Kazakhstan sees the basis for the development of the country in solving economic problems. In his opinion, the main priorities should be effectiveness, research intensity, and digitalization.

Great hopes are associated with the agricultural sector, which should become the driver of the entire Kazakhstan economy according to Tokaev’s opinion. At the same time, he has confirmed once again that agricultural lands will not be sold to foreigners. And that statement has been made with reference to the fact that there is still the issue of unfair use, or rather non-use of land plots by some “latifundists”. Thus, he has launched the revision of the effective use of lands in rural areas and, at the same time, he has cooled the eagerness of some of his opponents, who speculated on the sale of lands to the citizens of other states.


The President’s attention to corruption-related crimes has become a very important aspect for small and medium enterprises, because business and society greatly suffer exactly from the consequences of corruption.


The legitimacy and inevitability of punishment, especially for serious crimes against the person, sexual integrity, and domestic violence have top priority in regard to relations between society and the state. The emphasis on adding greater punitive measures for abusers is primarily an indicator that the new President and his team clearly monitor the challenges to society and respond to them promptly. Heinous incidents of violence against women and children that had been made public in spring and summer were not being left out. And now, it has been highlighted from the important rostrum that it is necessary to increase the severity of punishment for abusers and pedophiles.


The President of Kazakhstan did not restrict himself by only speaking about social and economic initiatives. In his message, Tokayev has reconfirmed his commitment to liberalization in carrying out political reforms. He has stated the necessity to develop political competition and multi-party system, public and civil dialogue. At the same time, he has instructed the relevant structures to improve the laws and regulations on rallies and peaceful assemblies in such a way that, according to the Constitution, citizens could freely take part in peaceful initiatives and express their opinion in the manner prescribed by law.


All these statements made by the head of Kazakhstan indicate that this largest Central Asian state, rich in oil and other natural resources, intends to not only make an economic breakthrough in the nearest future, but is ready to make courageous moves to democratize society contrary to established traditions. At any rate, President Tokayev’s statements give hope for such development of events.


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