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Kazakhstan: Ruling Party Plumps for Populism

Kazakhstan’s president could hardly be expected to run for parliament, so the ruling Nur Otan party has gone for the next best thing: The actor who played him as a young man in the biopic.

Nurlan Alimzhanov is just one of several celebrities that Nur Otan included in its populist list of candidates for the March 20 parliamentary election, which authorities are hoping will serve as a tonic for their flagging legitimacy.

Other recognizable faces selected by a unanimous vote at a party congress in Astana on January 29 included Gennady Golovkin, a world champion boxer renowned as the best pound-for pound fighter in the world, Olympic gold medal-winning weightlifter Ilya Ilyin and Kairat Nurtas, a wildly popular 26-year-old pop singer.

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Kazakhstan: Ruling Party Plumps for Populism

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