Venal Praise for Tajikistan’s “Innovative” Election Law Changes

12 Feb

Lord Venal – a seasoned observer of elections in the region and a specialist on election law – has praised Tajikistan’s recent amendments to the election law as “innovative”. He welcomes the reduction of the minimum age for any future candidate for the presidency (once the current incumbent decides that he no longer wishes to rule) from 35 to 30 as “self-evidently necessary”.

“What is innovative is the simultaneous reduction in the maximum age to 35,” Lord Venal adds, pointing to a provision not so far widely noted. “But here comes the clever bit – each year the age band rises by one year, both the minimum and maximum ages. That is a stroke of genius.”

Lord Venal is unfussed by deputies’ ultimate decision not to adopt the proposal that any candidate must have the same surname as the previous incumbent. “I could well imagine that were I president, I might want my daughter to succeed me and she might have a different surname.” Asked if he has a daughter who might be in line to inherit his title, Lord Venal responded: “I am sure I have a daughter or two somewhere, I can’t honestly remember.”


Where McMafia meets Game of Thrones

30 Jan

30 January 2018

The International Boxing Association (Aiba) hit the headlines over the weekend when it appointed controversial businessman and suspected mafiosi Gafur Rakhimov its interim President.

Well-known in the world of boxing, this Uzbekistan born sports administrator – he’s been vice president of Aiba since 1998, is also thought to be a major figure in organised crime circles originating out of the former Soviet Union – as portrayed in the BBC drama McMafia.

In December 2017, the US treasury department named Rakhimov as offering  “material support” for the so-called ‘Thieves-in-Law” group – described as a “Eurasian crime syndicate that has been linked to a long list of illicit activity across the globe,” according to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control Director John E. Smith.

Rakhimov fell foul of Gulnara Karimova, eldest daughter of late president Islam Karimov, when she was in her prime and running amok in Tashkent, grabbing businesses as it pleased her.

Rakhimov was forced into exile in Dubai. Later he allegedly said he would gain revenge by making Gulnara and her sister Lola “run naked through the streets of Tashkent – Game of Thrones fans will see the similarity here to Cersei Lannister’s naked Walk of Shame through the streets of King’s Landing, as pointed out by @GoldenTent on twitter.


“Let them Eat Cake”

29 Jan

29 January 2018

Qazaqstan’s Marie Antoinette Cake Making Institute in Astana has praised the recent attention in the media and social media to the long-prized art of making and consuming lavish cakes.


“We should all admire and applaud the 1,500-kilogram cake recently consumed in Shymkent – even if it was made by a Russian,” the Institute’s gateaumeister, Immodest Tortuly, told Kazaxia. “Next time such an impressive cake will be made here in Qazaqstan. We echo the famous words of Marie Antoinette, who maintained that cakes were for everyone, not just the rich.”

kazaxia asked Mr Tortuly if he was aware what happened to Marie Antoinette. “Tell me, what did happen to her?” he asked.

Astana’s Death Star Heading for London?

26 Jan

26 January 2018

It looks like Lord Venal’s lobbying is finally paying off as bigwigs in London have agreed to his ambitious scheme to bring Astana’s Death Star to the UK capital’s skyline.


Astana’s Nur Alem, aka The Death Star, which London wants to ape

Plans were unveiled on Wednesday for the Golf Ball, a daring declaration of intent for post-Brexit Britain. According to the plans seen by kazaxia, a huge glass orb, dwarfing St Paul’s Cathedral, may be constructed by east London’s Olympic Park.
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London’s proposed riposte to Astana’s Death Star – the Golf Ball

Lord Venal was so impressed with Expo 2017’s Nur Alem pavillion, dubbed the Death Star by one hack, that he started hassling his London contacts to bring a similar Star Wars-themed glass globe to London.
“In these Brexitian times it is vital that London match Astana in its global ambition if it wants to remain a key financial centre after Britain crashes out of the EU,” the good Lord told kazaxia.
“That’s why London needs its very own Death Star to show the world that, like Astana -the fruit of Elbasi’s great vision, it is open for business.”

Once Upon a Time in Amerika

20 Jan

20 January 2018

Qazaqstan’s diplomats in Washington deny absolutely that novice president Trump used an offensive word to their visiting president in their White House encounter, kazaxia has learnt.

don_and _nureke

What did the president just say?!?

“Trump did not use that word,” they insisted. “He may lack the long years of experience of our leader, but would not dream of insulting our great and wonderful homeland known throughout the world as a beacon of tolerance and human rights which people are striving to enter, not to flee.”

Diplomats also denied reports that Trump intended to build a wall between Qazaqstan and the United States. “This would not stop enterprising Americans managing to reach Qazaqstan to seek refuge,” one Qazaqstani diplomat joked. “Our banks are already full of money stashed by worried Americans seeking a safe haven.”

Qazaqstan: Taking the plunge

19 Jan

19 January 2018

Today is Epiphany in the eastern Orthodox church – a day when hardy souls take a plunge into a icy pool to wash away their sins and commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ. It’s also a time to stock up on some holy water.

Check out kazaxia’s photo-essay from Almaty’s Nikolsky Cathedral:

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When Nureke meets Donny

16 Jan

16 January 2018

Later today Qazaqstan’s Leader of the Nation, Nursultan Nazarbayev, is due to meet America’s novice president Donald Drumpf in Washington.

In this opinionated piece, kazaxia speculates on what may pass in this meeting between one of the world’s longest serving non-royal heads of state and the orange haired golfer who has enjoyed a gaffe-strewn first year in the White House.

Nazarbayev Trump

(image borrowed from

What advice can the world’s fourth longest-serving leader give to the newbie, whose forebears left Germany when it was quite a shithole?

kazaxia has identified three areas for advice:


President Drumpf’s first year has been marred by a stormy relationship with the media, with many a foul-mouthed outburst on Twitter coming out of Donny’s Mar a Lago golf resort in the middle of the night.

Qazaqstan has reined in its pesky media by forcing outlets, such as Respublika, to close or encouraging owners to sell their outlets, such as Svoboda Slova, to more compliant, pro-goverment owners.


Donny’s campaign to become president saw calls of ‘Lock her up’ directed at his main rival Hillary Clinton. This method has proved a most effective one in Qazaqstan with the authorities throwing many opponents, such as Vladimir Kozlov, behind bars.


2018 got off to a bad start for the White House with Micheal Wolff’s ‘explosive’ exposé of the Drumpf presidency – ‘Fire and Fury’. To counteract this ‘fake news’ account of the day-to-day workings of the regime, Don should consider using Elbasi’s personal hagiographer, ex-jailbird Jonathan Aitken, who can be guaranteed to give a glowing account of life in the White House.

It looks like these guys’ll get on like a house on fire!