Kazakhstan Goes to the Polls

11 Jan

Lord Venal has interrupted his winter break to share his thoughts on Kazakhstan’s upcoming parliamentary elections with Kazaxia.

Kazakhstan prepares for the rush of voters

Kazakhstan’s big day is getting ever closer and I have decided to cut short my winter break in the Maldives and share my thoughts on the latest developments in the land of Abay. It’s been quiet in the Maldives this year anyway as the boisterous Kazakh contingent was conspicuous by its absence after allforeign travel for officials was banned in the light of the troubles in Zhanaozen.

I have been keeping a close eye on events in Kazakhstan. After the unrest in the west some observers suggested postponing the elections and it was even mooted to cancel the vote in Zhanaozen, which is still under lockdown, but the Leader wisely pooh-poohed this idea. It is important at this troubling time that the people get out to the polling booths and put their support behind Nur Otan and the other party that will be in parliament to maintain peace and stability in the country. The banning of troublemaker opposition candidates such as Bolat Abilov and Gulzhan Yergaliyeva can only be for the good of the country as a whole.

I found a copy of Jonathan Aitken‘s latest work Kazakhstan and Twenty Years of Independence: Surprises and Stereotypes After 20 Years of Independence in my Christmas stocking and have been dipping into it with relish. Recent events in Kazakhstan suggest that maybe Jeffrey Archer, that other disgraced former Tory MP who has done time in prison, would have been a better choice to pen something about the country with his prolific fiction writing skills. I hope Akorda was happy with the present I sent – a copy of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, which has some interesting ideas for contemplation.

2012 will be an exciting year for Anglo-Kazakh co-operation, especially with Tony Blair advising Astana. Next time I speak in the house I will highlight some business opportunities I have uncovered for British firms. With at least 16 people killed and scores wounded in Zhanaozen on 16 December there would appear to be a gap in the market for some non-lethal riot control materials such as water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas. Britain’s long experience in Northern Ireland has made it a world leader in the production of riot control gear and this golden opportunity to assist Kazakhstan should not be missed.

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