Kazakhstan: The Scent of Elections
Jul 1, 2011
As 2012 fast approaches, it is not the smell of Mayan doomsday, but electioneering, that is once again taking hold of Kazakhstan.
On one side, the government is mobilizing for an orderly political season by dripping out a few sweeteners aimed at fostering public confidence in the status quo.
Prime Minister Karim Masimov announced on Twitter (where else?) on June 30 that salaries for public sector employees will be hiked by 30 percent starting from July. This follows a trend of similarly generous pay rises over the past couple of years.
In another gesture aimed at containing gas and food prices, the government is also extending its ban on fuel exports to next year.
Similar woolly welfare pronouncements should be expected on a fairly regular basis as we head toward 2012, when parliamentary elections are expected.
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