PERSONNEL SHIFTS IN KAZAKHSTAN: TRADITIONAL ROTATION OR A NEW POLITICAL COURSE?

Kadyrjan SMAGULOV


Kadyrjan Smagulov, Political Science Doctoral Candidate, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan)


ABSTRACT

The author analyzes the personnel shifts in 2012 and during the first month of 2013 in the Republic of Kazakhstan to point out that despite the scope (the government, local executive structures, and central state security services received new people), the countrys state administration bodies did not undergo any rejuvenation. Furthermore, the personnel shifts in the defense and security structures (the police investigation departments in particular) show that the countrys leaders attach particular importance to the processes going on inside the country and want to keep them under control.

Ten regions received new akims (heads of the administrative-territorial units) who, when appointed, were warned about the possible repercussions of embezzlement and misuse of budget money. New instruments of control over what the akims are doing in their regions have been created in the hopes of reducing the still fairly widespread nepotism to a minimum.

There is another interesting side to the personnel shifts of 2012-2013: just as in Russia, the parliament of Kazakhstan is turning into a waiting room or depot of sorts where deputies either await a new appointment or live out the remaining days of their political career.

The 2012-2013 rotations are described as the first steps toward implementing a new program called the Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy. The political priorities and implementation methods, however, will never change: the president remains in charge of everything up to and including the choice of prime minister.

Keywords: Kazakhstan, personnel policy, akims, defense and security structures, the Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy.

Introduction

A series of personnel shifts in the central and local executive structures took place in Kazakhstan in early 2013. Furthermore, some of the top figures (in the defense and security structures among others) were moved to new posts. The country went through something similar a year earlier, in January 2012; these changes turned out to be but the.


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