A new opinion poll offers good news for Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev: his approval ratings remain in the stratosphere as the country’s economy perks up after two years of doom and gloom.
The study reveals that the public sees Nazarbayev as the main guarantor of the stability they prize – and which they value even more following political and ethnic strife in neighboring Kyrgyzstan.
“The main thing [for the public] is that the ruling power in the country should be very strong, one which will provide people with order, calm, peace, and an absence of the upheavals we are observing in the neighboring country,” Gulmira Ileuova, head of the respected Strategy Center of Social and Political Studies, told a news conference in Almaty on August 16. “So the main thing is that they see the assurance of this calm in the institution of the presidency… President Nazarbayev is [perceived as] a guarantee of that stability.”
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Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia.