Dariga Nazarbayeva: What Do We Know About The New Speaker Of The Senate Of Kazakhstan

A life 2023

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Dariga Nazarbayeva: What Do We Know About The New Speaker Of The Senate Of Kazakhstan
Dariga Nazarbayeva: What Do We Know About The New Speaker Of The Senate Of Kazakhstan
Video: Dariga Nazarbayeva: What Do We Know About The New Speaker Of The Senate Of Kazakhstan
Video: Ararat Mirzoyan receives Chairman of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament Dariga Nazarbayev 2023, February
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Dmitry Kurkin

Dariga Nazarbayeva, the eldest daughter of Nursultan Nazarbayev, who ruled Kazakhstan for almost thirty years and left the presidency this week, has been elected chairman of the Kazakh Senate. While the news of this was overshadowed by the proposal to rename Astana to Nursultan by the country's new president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev - and in the shadow of the avalanche of memes that followed - it says something important about the political balance in Kazakhstan. Nazarbayeva is considered one of the likely candidates for the 2020 presidential election. And her prompt - and unanimous - election as the head of the upper house of the Kazakh parliament shows that a scenario in which she inherits the power of Elbasy (the national leader - her 78-year-old father remains de facto) is quite likely.

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Aside from her formal biography, not much is known about Nazarbayeva, despite the fact that she remains one of the most influential figures in Kazakhstan - and the richest (in May 2013, the local Forbes branch estimated her personal fortune at almost $ 600 million). Despite the fact that nepotism can be traced in the country's political system - among the probable successors of Nazarbayev, political scientists also name his son-in-law Timur Kulibayev (husband of Dinara Nazarbayeva) and nephew Samat Abish (now he is the first deputy chairman of the National Security Committee), it cannot be said that Dariga was prepared for leadership of the country. In fact, according to observers, the issue of the transfer of power was seriously concerned in Kazakhstan only in September 2016, after the death of another permanent post-Soviet leader, Uzbek President Islam Karimov.

In 2003, Dariga Nazarbayeva created the Asar party and thereby expressed her absolute support for the course proclaimed by her father. But even this was not enough when her husband, businessman and politician Rakhat Aliyev was suspected of disloyalty: in 2007 he was charged with kidnapping top managers of Nurbank bank. The Austrian police detained Aliyev, but the court refused to extradite him, and since then he has, in fact, turned into one of the main Kazakh dissidents. In his book The Godfather-in-law, published in 2009, he accused Nazarbayev of corruption, and in 2014 surrendered to the Austrian authorities and allegedly promised to provide the court with evidence of widespread corruption among Kazakh officials. Aliyev did not live to see the trial: in February he was found dead in a prison cell. His death was ruled a suicide.

In leaked documents

she was called the only owner of an offshore company registered

in the Virgin Islands

Soon after the scandal, the Asar party was swallowed up by another loyal Elbasy structure - the Nur Otan party, and Nazarbayeva either fell out of favor for five years, or deliberately removed herself from public life (her divorce from Aliyev was formalized in 2007 - Aliyev himself claimed that this happened without his participation). She relaunched her political career in 2012, after she was elected to the majilis, the lower house of the Kazakh parliament.

In 2016, Dariga Nazarbayeva, along with her other relatives, was mentioned in the Panama Dossier: in leaked documents she was called the only owner of an offshore company registered in the Virgin Islands. In addition, it was alleged that she and her son Nurali Aliyev may own real estate in London, the value of which is estimated at about 183 million pounds (curiously, this is the section of Baker Street where the Sherlock Holmes house museum is located). This information runs counter to the statements of the Kazakh authorities, which regularly urged national businesses not to withdraw capital to offshores, but they are quite consistent with the assessment of the scale of corruption in the country: in the rating of Transparency International, Kazakhstan took 124th place out of 180.

In addition to a career in politics and business, Nazarbayeva has another one: she loves to sing and at one time often appeared on national television screens precisely as a singer. However, she will probably have to forget about this hobby in the coming months. Her activity in the new post - and the will of her father - will determine whether she leads the country or repeats the fate of Gulnara Karimova, who, after her father's death, was found guilty of economic crimes and sentenced to five years in prison.

PHOTOS: Wikimedia, Getty Images

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