UNCLAS ALMATY 002288
STATE FOR EUR/CACEN (J.MUDGE)
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KZ POLITICAL
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: NAZARBAYEVA HIGHLIGHTS THREAT OF "DEMOCRATIC
PRESSURE" AT ASAR PARTY CONGRESS
1. (SBU) Summary: In a June 7 speech to an Asar Party congress in
Astana, party leader and first daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva
discussed her vision for the party, the upcoming presidential
elections, and concerns about opposition forces and Western-led
democratization efforts. Most notably, she spoke at length about
the risk of outside forces exploiting Kazakhstan's weaknesses to
forcibly "export democracy" and provoke a revolution similar to
events in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. She also made
unguarded comments about unrest in Russia having brought
President Putin to power. End summary.
2. (U) On June 7, the Asar Party held an extraordinary congress
in Astana, attended by more than 130 delegates from around the
country. Party leader Dariga Nazarbayeva gave the main
presentation. A significant portion of Nazarbayeva's speech
focused on Asar's strategies for the presidential elections
officially scheduled for December 2006. Uniting with the
Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, Asar proposed an initiative to
establish a coalition of pro-presidential political parties,
known as "National Union of Kazakhstan for Democracy."
3. (U) During press interviews after the party congress,
Nazarbayeva reasserted that she has no ambitions to run for
president, claiming to have distanced herself from the role as
the president's daughter. Nazarbayeva stated that while her main
profession in life is to be the daughter of the president,
maintaining political autonomy as the leader of a pro-
presidential party is still essential.
The Threat of the "Export of Democracy"
4. (U) Nazarbayeva did not rule out the possibility that
Kazakhstan could face a so-called "colored revolution," referring
to recent political upheavals in Georgia, Ukraine, and
Kyrgyzstan. She claimed that outside forces could exploit
weaknesses within the country to achieve what she called "the
export of democracy." In her assessment, "Kazakhstan can become
the target of outside democratic pressure." Nazarbayeva
described what she called "a new technology of installing
controllable governments on territories of strategic interests.
Today there is no country that does not face a threat of forceful
r>democratization from the outside." She also raised concerns
about what she called radical political opposition, even claiming
that the Kazakhstani political opposition is prepared to use
force to seize power. She did not articulate any strategy to
respond to these perceived threats.
Government Reform Proposals
5. (U) During her speech, the party leader suggested that
political reform should be synchronized with the pace of societal
development. She dismissed the idea of limiting presidential
authority and shifting to a model of parliamentary rule,
insisting that "transition countries belong to a category that
makes management difficult, even with executive authority."
Nevertheless, she proposed strengthening the parliament's power
by expanding its control over the national budget and national
programs by forming the cabinet on the basis of a parliamentary
majority. Some of these changes call for amendments to the
Constitution, which will require, according to Nazarbayeva,
"time, nation-wide discussion, and agreement of positions on
behalf of the country's societal and political forces."
Other Policy Priorities
6. (U) As part of its anti-corruption strategy, Nazarbayeva said
that the Asar Party will set up public committees to monitor
government officials. These same committees will also serve as
the backbone for her new coalition of political parties.
Nazarbayeva enumerated Asar's social and economic priorities as
the development of civil society structures, free and independent
press, youth participation in politics, improving education and
health sectors of the country, addressing concerns about the
pension system, and support for industry and small and medium
7. (U) Speaking about Russian President Vladimir Putin,
Nazarbayeva made what appears to have been an unscripted comment
that the bombings in Moscow and attacks by guerilla forces in
Dagestan were instrumental in bringing Putin to power. The
comment was made when discussing why President Nazabayev's
successor has not been publicized yet. In her opinion, Putin
"appeared literally half a year before he became president. A
very effective PR campaign was organized in response to the
explosions in Moscow and the war in Chechnya." Nazarbayeva also
emphasized that Kazakhstan is the only country in the former
Soviet Union to have avoided the burdens of terror, inter-ethnic
conflict, and "vulgar dictators."
9. (SBU) Comment: Nazarbeyeva's speech was a clear example of her
efforts to balance the need to appear loyal to her father while
simultaneously calling for limited reforms of the government.
For instance, she raised fears about a possible "colored"
revolution initiated from abroad, yet she acknowledged the need
for government reform to facilitate further democratization. End