Eight Candidates Approved for Kazakhstan’s November Presidential Elections, Three Rejected, and One Pending
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Oct 21, 2022
On October 11, the period for nomination of candidates closed in Kazakhstan one month after President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced snap presidential elections, scheduled for November 22, in his State of the Nation Address on September 1. Thus far, the Central Election Commission (CEC) has approved eight applications and rejected three, leaving one pending.
The nomination of candidates for presidential elections began on September 23, with the CEC)delivering results at a press conference on October 12. “The Central Election Commission received documents from 12 candidates nominated by national public associations,” said (CEC) Secretary Mukhtar Yerman.
As of October 17, the CEC had approved seven candidates for the presidential election. Firstly, Incumbent President Tokayev was confirmed to run by the people’s coalition, a group of political organizations and associations that proposed at the Astana forum on October 6 to nominate Tokayev as a candidate in the upcoming elections. The CEC added that 389,809 signatures from citizens in all regions of Kazakhstan were collected in support of Tokayev; as of that date, 141,045 of them had been checked, and 140,167 of those signatures were recognized as valid.
Auyl party nominee, Zhiguli Dairbayev, a former deputy of the Supreme Council of Kazakhstan from the twelfth convocation, the Chair of the Union of Farmers of Kazakhstan, and the head of the Agroindustrial Complex Committee of the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, submitted all required documents to CEC for registration and approved Dairbayev’s candidacy on October 9. The National Social Democratic Party (JSDP) proposed a candidate – Nurlan Auesbayev, a politician and head of the JSDP’s Astana division since 2021. While NSDP is considered an opposition party, the CEC approved Auesbayev and verified his compliance on October 10. The Commonwealth of Amanat Trade Unions nominated Meiram Kazhyken, the leader of the unregistered party, Yntymaq, and director of the Institute of Modern Society Research, where he is a doctor of economic science and professor. The CEC approved his candidacy on October 8.
Nominated by the National Alliance of Professional Social Workers, Karakat Abden, whose candidacy was approved by CEC on October 11, became the first approved female candidate in the history of the Republic of Kazakhstan. She is a member of the National Commission for Women’s Affairs, Family, and Demographic Policy and an external advisor to the Akim (Mayor) of Astana on social issues.
“To apply for such a high position is, of course, exciting; I will not hide it... This is a great honor for me, but at the same time, a huge responsibility,” Abden commented after taking her language exam.
Another female candidate, and human rights activist, Saltanat Tursynbekova – was nominated by the Kazakh Analary-Dastyrge Zhol public association. She, too, was approved by the CEC on October 12. She said that social work has been her mission, noting that it has involved countering violence, maternal and child mortality, promoting entrepreneurship, and women’s participation in the country’s economic life.
Zhumatai Aliyev, a nominee from the public association, Halyk Demography, as a Deputy of the Majilis (Parliament) of the Fifth Convocation from the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, was also approved by the CEC.
Kazakhstan’s League of Football Amateurs’ nominee Bakyt Zhanabayev, who currently works for the State Revenue Department of the Kazakh Finance Ministry, has also been approved by the CEC. According to the Civil Service Agency, Bakyt Zhanabayev has extensive experience from 21 years in public administration.
The CEC also rejected three candidates who had applied to run for office: female candidate Fatima Bizakova of the Practical Psychology Association, Khairulle Gabzhalilov of the Asar Association of Oralmans, and Talgat Yergaliyev of the Union of Builders of Kazakhstan. The CEC rejected each of these candidates for not meeting the guidelines for candidature.
Finally, one more candidate’s status is pending CEC review: Nurzhan Altayev, a former Majilis deputy. On October 7, when he submitted his documents to the CEC, several leaders of branches of the NGO Mukalmas declared to the CEC that there had been falsification of the protocol of the corresponding meeting of the association. In February 2019, Altayev became a deputy of the Majilis from the party Nur Otan (now Amanat). But in December 2020, he was expelled from its ranks "for committing acts that discredit the party... and damage its interests," which he had allegedly expressed in several public statements. These included his intention to create a new political party. At the same time, he was deprived of his deputy mandate.
Kazakhstan’s presidential campaign will last from 6:00 pm on October 21 until November 18. The CEC will then announce preliminary results on November 21-22. The results and registration of the elected president will be confirmed from November 21 to 27.