08ASTANA2148, KAZAKHSTAN: NUR OTAN DISCUSSES PARTY ACTIVITIES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA2148 2008-10-30 11:12 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO9025
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #2148/01 3041112
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 301112Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3693
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0747
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0147
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0857
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 0074
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 0306
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC 0226
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 2031
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1980
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 2316
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 002148 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/30/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR EAID SOCI KDEM KZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN:  NUR OTAN DISCUSSES PARTY ACTIVITIES 
AND PLANS WITH THE AMBASSADOR 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard Hoagland, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY:  During an October 29 meeting with the 
Ambassador, Nur Otan party First Deputy Chairman Darkhan 
Kaletayev explained that Nur Otan aims to become a party of 
"real deeds."  The party sees itself as a conduit between the 
public and government, helping to solve socio-economic and 
other problems.  Fighting corruption is also a Nur Otan 
focus.  Kaletayev described the opposition parties as 
patriotic rivals, not enemies.  He said that Nur Otan 
welcomes additional cooperation with USAID's political party 
training problem, but would like concrete proposals from the 
U.S. side.  He assured the Ambassador that Kazakhstan would 
implement its "principal" Madrid commitments.  END SUMMARY. 
 
"DOMINANT PARTY," WITH 850,000 MEMBERS 
 
2. (SBU) During an October 29 meeting with the Ambassador, 
Nur Otan party First Deputy Chairman Darkhan Kaletayev 
described Nur Otan as the country's "dominant party," with an 
"absolute majority" in parliament. (COMMENT:  "Absolute 
majority" is somewhat of an understatement, given that no 
other party holds a single parliamentary seat.  President 
Narazbayev is the Chairman of Nur Otan, but Kaletayev 
essentially runs the party's day-to-day operations.   END 
COMMENT.)  Nur Otan has 800,000 members and 8,500 party cells 
throughout the country.  Kaletayev explained that Nur Otan's 
aim is to become a party of "real deeds," not just words, and 
named further democratization, ensuring the country's 
prosperity, and overcoming the impact of the global financial 
crisis as top Nur Otan priorities. 
 
CONDUIT BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND GOVERNMENT 
 
3. (SBU) Kaletayev detailed Nur Otan's role as a conduit 
between the public and government.  The party has "public 
reception" hours at its offices nationwide where citizens can 
register complaints about socio-economic and other problems. 
Nur Otan then presses the authorities to take action to 
resolve them.   Citizens come to the party for assistance 
because often local bureaucrats are inaccessible.  Most of 
the complaints are about water, roads, health care, 
education, housing, and telecommunications.  Nur Otan 
recently gathered detailed information about such problems in 
every settlement, and intends to turn the information over to 
the authorities at all levels of government.  Some problems, 
Kaletayev explained, cannot be solved at the local level, but 
rather only by the national government.  The party will set 
deadlines for solving problems, and if they are not resolved, 
will insist that explanations be given to the public.  Nur 
Otan will use "party control" mechanisms to force government 
action. 
 
4. (SBU) Kaletayev stressed the importance of Nur Otan's 
efforts to fight corruption.  The party is implementing a 
program called "Ten Blows Against Corruption."  On November 
7, Nur Otan is hosting an anti-corruption forum at its 
national headquarters which Nazarbayev will participate in. 
 
CHANNEL FOR THE OPPOSTION? 
 
5. (SBU) Kaletayev argued that Nur Otan can serve as a 
channel between the opposition and government.  He said he 
views opposition parties as political rivals, not as enemies. 
 "There are a lot of smart people in the opposition -- half 
of them came from the government originally -- and they are 
patriots," he stressed.  Nur Otan is willing to sit down with 
the opposition and use its access as the ruling party to pass 
the opposition's views to the government. 
 
 
ASTANA 00002148  002 OF 003 
 
 
PARLIAMENT OPEN TO OUTSIDE INPUT 
 
6. (SBU) The Ambassador asked about Nur Otan's role in 
drafting legislation.  Kaletayev explained that Nur Otan 
participates in legislative activities through its 
parliamentary faction, which adheres to tight party 
discipline.  The party also has an institute of 
parliamentarianism which has experts who analyze legislation. 
 Kaletayev described parliament as very open to input from 
civil society and all parties, pointing to the Public Council 
of the Majilis (the lower house of parliament) as a venue for 
dialogue. 
 
SEEKING CONCRETE PROPOSALS ON USAID COOPERATION 
 
7.  (SBU) The Ambassador noted that Nur Otan is partici
pating 
in USAID's political party training program, and asked 
Kaletayev about his impressions of the training.  He 
responded that the United States has a long history of 
political party building and thus important experience to 
share with Kazakhstan.  Nur Otan has good contacts with NDI 
and received a briefing from IRI on the results of its poll 
of political attitudes in Kazakhstan.  Kaletayev said that 
there are many avenues for further cooperation with USAID's 
program -- including on local self-government and on 
legislation dealing with political parties, the media, and 
corruption -- but he would like concrete proposals from the 
U.S. side. 
 
MADRID COMMITMENTS WILL BE IMPLEMENTED 
 
8. (SBU) The Ambassador stressed to Kaletayev the importance 
of Kazakhstan's implementation of its Madrid commitments on 
democratic reform.  This is yet another opportunity for 
Nazarbayev to demonstrate his leadership as an international 
statesman, he explained.  Kaletayev responded that the 
government's "Road to Europe" program provides a blueprint 
for implementation.  Discussion is ongoing regarding the 
details of the necessary legislation.  Kazakhstan will not 
meet international standards in all areas, but it will 
implement its "principal" commitments from Madrid, Kaletayev 
argued. 
 
BIO NOTES 
 
9. (U) Thirty-six year-old Darkhan Kaletayev was born in a 
village in East Kazakhstan oblast.  He is a graduate of East 
Kazakhstan University and the National Higher School of 
Government Administration.  Kaletayev has served in 
government positions for his entire professional career. 
During 1997-2002, he occupied various positions in the 
Ministry of Information.  During 2002-08, he worked in senior 
posts in the Presidential Administration, his last year as 
Deputy Chief.  He was appointed First Deputy Chairman of Nur 
Otan on October 13. 
 
9. (C) COMMENT:  While neither western-educated nor, as far 
as we could tell, English-speaking, Kaletayev (born 1972) 
nevertheless represents generational change at Nur Otan.  His 
predecessor, Adlybek Dzhaksybekov (born 1953), did not seem 
to have his heart in a position he ultimately held for less 
than a year.  In fact, Dzhaksybekov, a close Nazarbayev 
associate, appeared less interested in party work than in his 
outside pursuits, including producing a movie about the 2005 
Kazakhstani presidential election campaign based on his 
perspective as then Chief of the Presidential Administration. 
 In appointing Kaletayev, Nazarbayev presumedly believes he 
has found someone who will take party-building more 
seriously.  Nur Otan, not surprisingly, continues to model 
itself along the lines of the Soviet-era Communist Party, 
 
ASTANA 00002148  003 OF 003 
 
 
with the division between Nur Otan and the government a 
tenuous one, made more so by the fact that opposition parties 
are not represented in government at any level, save for 
holding a handful of seats in local legislatures.  Nur Otan's 
youth wing, Zhas Otan, organized celebrations on October 30 
to mark the 90th anniversary of the Komsomol, the youth wing 
of the Soviet Communist Party.  END COMMENT. 
HOAGLAND

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