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Kazakhstanis applying for presidential candidacy

10 march 2015, 20:13
0
Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan ©Turar Kazangapov
Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan ©Turar Kazangapov

It is now time that Kazakhstanis nominate themselves or get nominated for candidacy in the early presidential elections that will take place on April 26, 2015 in Kazakhstan.

The process of accepting nominations by the Central Election Committee (CEC) started on February 26.

Those wishing to be candidates must file a tax return for him/herself and for his wife/husband and then pass the test of Kazakh language proficiency. Thereafter, they receive candidacy list, which must be signed in at least nine regions of the country, as well as in Astana and Almaty cities. They must gather signatures of 1 percent of registered voters, or 93,012 people in Kazakhstan. Signatures are checked for authenticity and after this the CEC registers the candidate.

As of today, 14 citizens of Kazakhstan have filed applications: 13 self-nominations and 1 from the Communist Party; eight of the self-nominated candidates have been already rejected, Tengrinews reports.

The highlights of this year’s nominations are the language tests and the first in the history of Kazakhstan female nominee. She is one of the two candidates who successfully passed the language test and now has to find enough signatures for her candidacy lists.

Her name is Limana Koishiyeva. Born in 1969, a resident of Astana city, she specialises in children's psychology and serves as president of Rouhani Kogham Alemi public foundation.

Photo from personal Facebook page

Speaking about the first female nominee at the briefing at the Central Communications Services' headquarters on 5 March, the head of the Association of Business Women of Kazakhstan Raushan Sarsembayeva said that this was an act of “bravery” that Limana nominated herself and that people had to appreciate and support such a candidate.

She pointed out that women are not perceived the same way as men are in our society. “Even if men do take her seriously, can a women succeed (in the Kazakh society)? In politics a woman may be considered annoying by male-politicians, of by the public. Man are accepted automatically, whereas women may not be accepted,” she said.

Sarsenbayeva wondered, however, if this brave decision would serve for the benefit of the nation: "Will this step throw the work of the National Commission and all the women decades back? It's not just about being nominated, it is also about being supported by the family, the society. Will she handle the presidential race?"

One is only left wondering whether Sarsenbayeva truly believes in gender equality. Certainly, she would not have asked the same question about a male candidate.

Luckily for her, the rest of the nominees are all male. The second candidate who passed the Kazakh language test is Turgun Syzdykov from Akmola Oblast, born in 1947, the candidate from the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. The Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party Vladislav Kosarev said that the candidacy was approved at the party congress.

Turgun Syzdykov completing the test of Kazakh language proficiency ©Tengrinews

“He was born in 1947 and in 1974 he graduated from the High Komsomol School in Moscow and then graduated from Tselinograd Agricultural Institute. He was the head of the administration of the Leningrad Region, worked in state agencies in North Kazakhstan Oblast and Akmola Oblast. In recent years, he headed a department in an Oblast Maslikhat. I know Turgun Syzdykov as a man devoted to the Communist Party," Kosarev said.

Syzdykov successfully passed the test this morning, he made 6 mistakes. The topic of his essay was “Our strength lies in unity.” The exam also included two other tasks: reading a literary text and making a public speech. The head of the commission Myrzatai Zholdasbekov complemented Syzdykov’s performance but added that none of the nominees so far were perfect in their tests. “This, of course, is not good,” he said.

Not good indeed, considering that six other self-nominated candidates failed the test and therefore were excluded from the nominations list. The first one to fail the test was Askar Syrgabayev, a businessman born in 1959 and residing in Astana. The inappropriate knowledge of the state language - the Kazakh language - was also the reason to decline the nomination of Astana resident Safiolla Aldazhanov, currently unemployed.

Another nominee, Yerzhan Sergazin, a serviceman from Almaty born in 1971 failed the test today. The linguistic committee came to the conclusion that he does not possess sufficient knowledge of the state language. Sergazin, in turn, questioned the necessity for such test.

Walikhan Kaisarov, head of Kenesary Khan Foundation applied for presidential candidacy for the second time this year. He already tried self-nomination in 2011 but failed the language test. Back then, his re-application was rejected after the Supreme Court declined to overrule the decision of the linguistic commission. Kaisarov alleged that the linguistic commission was biased and assumed that the test was manipulated to prevent him "from participating in the election.”

Walikhan Kaisarov ©Tengrinews file photo

This time, he failed the test again. In addition, there were questions as to his citizenship as he allegedly made several mistakes in biographical data filled in the state language. The candidate denied these claims but was disqualified due to the language test failure anyway.

Along with his case, on March 9 the linguistic commission concluded that social activist from Almaty born in 1958 Yesenbek Ukteshbayev did not posses the necessary level of knowledge of the state language. Before that, on March 7, Astana resident Kanat Zhuman, head of Astana Munay Group 2007 LLP gas stations network, born in 1969, also failed the test.

Chairman of the linguistic commission Myrzatai Zholdasbekov said that the candidates made multiple grammatical mistakes in their essays. They could not make clear and coherent arguments in the Kazakh language and possessed a very limited vocabulary. They also made stylistic errors and could not answer questions of the commission.

Generally, the results look very grave.

CEC member Tatiana Okhlopkova assured today that the linguistic commission included "respected, prominent experts, linguistic scholars."

Central Election Commission ©Turar Kazangapov

Two more candidates were rejected due to their age. On 3 March, Abdukarimov Bakhyt, born in 1977, and Myrzashov Sukhrab, born in 1984, both completed applications for being nominated. The two were warned about the fact that a presidential candidate must be 40 years of age, however, the two replied: “This is our constitutional right (to file the application).” They are a civil engineer and a driver working in Astana for the same company JH-Kurylys LLP.

Therefore, as of today, 13 self-nominations and 1 party nomination were received by the Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan. Of them, 8 self-nominations were rejected and only one – a woman – continues the race. One party candidate from the Communists of Kazakhstan also passed into the next round.

The remaining four candidates are: Maishev Kairat, Dzhunisbekov Yakobzhan, Yestemesov Bakhtiyar, Turageldiyev Kanat. It is known that Dzhunisbekov is a pensioner, born in 1946 and living in Almaty. Details about the other three have not yet been made public.

It appears that self-nominee Kairat Maishev did not show up for the language test today, but his test may be rescheduled.

By Dinara Urazova


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