Sep 8, 2009

Nazarbaev on Emerging Democracies

Swinging past his knees it is.

So, seriously, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev submitted an op-ed to the Washington Times, which ran today. The title? "The promise of emerging democracies" And yes, he considers Kazakhstan an emerging democracy, this on the coattails of the most recent example of complete disregard for the rule of law and human rights in Kazakhstan. Ridiculousness that stands out:

Emerging democracies like Kazakhstan...have a responsibility and role to play on the global stage that is far more consequential to the welfare of freedom-loving nations.

A dedication to democratic values, the rule of law, transparency, tolerance and open trade has led to stability and a strong, well-educated middle class. This increasingly firm foundation at home enables us to play an important role among nations abroad...

Pragmatism is necessary in nation-building and more likely to evoke a positive response from allies than an ideological crusade.

I would love to hear Nazarbaev's full definition of pragmatism.


Sublime Oblivion said...

Well, it kind of is like a promise... of emerging into a democracy.

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

Lest we forget: Kazakhstan will assume the chairmanship of the OSCE in 2010. (Take that KZ haters.)

Lest we also forget: Kazakhstan's parlament didn't have a single member of the opposition seated after the last national elections. And Nazarbaev himself won over 70% of the vote in the last free and, the last elections.

So there you go. It is democracy! Nazarbaev is just really, really loved by his people.

Nothing wrong with that.

Sublime Oblivion said...

But seriously, I think Nazarbaev is easily one of the cleverest and ablest of the post-Soviet leaders. Discretely plays off Russia against the West, enjoys good will from everyone except Borat, improves the material conditions of his people (generally speaking) and lives in palatial splendor with a modest cult of personality on the side.

Ern said...

He's shady as hell. I wouldn't say a monster though. Very very shady though.

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