Kazakhstan. In March, President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced something unexpectedly his departure. Nazarbayev had held the presidency since 1990. In 1991, Kazakhstan became independent from the then Soviet Union, which dissolved that year. Senate President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev took over as the country’s president. Nazarbayev’s daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva was appointed Senate President after Tokayev. The new president’s first decision in March was to rename the capital Astana to Nur-Sultan – after the resigned president – and to appoint a new chief of staff, the prime minister Baqytzjan Saghyntajev resigned in February. See cellphoneexplorer.com for Kazakhstan country overview.
At the June 9 presidential election – the first in 30 years – as expected, the beloved president’s favorite Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev won with 71% of the vote. In second place was journalist Amirzhan Kosanov with just over 16% and third place the country’s first female presidential candidate Daniya Jespajeva, who got just over 5%. The official turnout was 77.5%. The election was criticized by election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and protests against the suspected election fraud erupted in Almaty and Nur-Sultan. At least 4,000 people were arrested; close to 1,000 of them were sentenced to prison, among others.
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After the election, the new president presented his agenda for the coming years – increased wages, improved healthcare, the fight against widespread corruption, and increased cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Russian Federation. To increase its popularity, President Tokayev decided that the country’s poorest should have their debts written off. The decision meant that around 250,000 people became debt free.
However, the shadow of the departed President Nursultan Nazarbayev still rests over the country. Nazarbayev, for example, has to be consulted on the establishment of key posts within the government and government agencies, including the country’s counterpart to the Russian KGB, the National Security Committee (KNB).
According to CountryAAH, the population of Kazakhstan in 2019 was 18,551,316, ranking number 64 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.260% yearly, and the population density was 6.8717 people per km2.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
Central Asian state. At the 1999 census it had a population of 14,952,420. (14,825,000 according to a 2005 sima). In the 2000-2005 period, the demographic trend maintained the negative trend that had emerged in the previous decade, as a result of both low fertility and the negative migratory balance (in 2005 the number of emigrants reached 3.5‰ of the population). The government has launched some incentives for the return of Kazakhs living in other former Soviet republics, but the measures have had limited effects. The distribution of the population continues to be very irregular; the residents are concentrated, in addition to the cities of Astana and Almaty, in the mining and oil regions, where, moreover, the levels of income are significantly higher than the rest of the country.
GDP is constantly growing, thanks above all to the strong inflow of foreign capital and the increase in oil and natural gas production, favored by the opening, in 2001, of the oil pipeline that connects the Kazakhstan fields with the Black Sea. Production is expected to increase further with the entry into operation, scheduled for 2008, of the Kashagan offshore plant and with the completion of the oil pipeline that will connect the Atasu fields with China. Traditional industries are in decline, in particular the textile and chemical sectors, as well as the primary sector, whose contribution to the formation of GDP is constantly decreasing.
Since 2003, a progressive opening up to foreign private investments has been initiated. The initiative had some success, also by virtue of the good performance of the country on the international financial markets, so much so that in 2000, the Kazakhstan, 7 years earlier than the deadline, fully honored the debts contracted with the International Monetary Fund, and in 2002, first among the former Soviet republics, it entered the rankings of the main international rating agencies. The service sector, almost non-existent at the time of the Soviet regime, has shown a strong vitality, and is increasingly contributing to the formation of GDP.
The executive’s policy is oriented towards a containment of the foreign presence in the oil sector, both of capital and of technicians, in favor of investments in the industrial sector, especially in light activities, in order to create greater production diversification and less dependence on hydrocarbons. In the short term, the Kazakhstan will have to face serious environmental problems: in addition to the high industrial pollution of many cities, the degradation of water tables and soils resulting from the excessive use of pesticides, the greatest dangers to health come from chemical contamination and radioactive from areas near the old Soviet war industries. Another major problem is the Aral Sea, which following its drying up has deposited, in addition to layers of natural salts, chemical pesticides that are carried by the wind even over a considerable distance.