Kazakh presidential candidates publish political platforms

Presidential candidates in Kazakhstan have published their political platforms in official press, ITAR-TASS reported.

Incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev's platform is based on 'Country's development program 2020' and his 'Message to the people of Kazakhstan'. The priorities are to continue ensuring sustainable economic growth, implementation of the program of forced industrial-innovative development of the country, and support for small and medium businesses.

In his platform 'Let's build the future together!' Nazarbayev intends to reduce unemployment to 5 percent and poverty to 6 percent, increase average lifetime to 72 years, and to cut maternal and infant mortality by half. His plans include implementing a program on public offering of the stock of huge Kazakh companies.

Communist Zhambyl Ahmetbekov is running in the elections under the slogan 'Authorities have power - we have truth'. He promises to find a way when the country’s natural resources benefit its people. For this end he offers to restore state control over energy, oil and mining industries, as well as railway and air transport sectors.

Ahmetbekov suggests stopping export of cotton, wool, rawstock and wood, introducing quotas on the export of ferrous and nonferrous metals, and expanding production of this stuff domestically. He offers to introduce state control over pricing and promotion of domestic producers.

The platform of Gani Kasimov, head of the Patriots Party, is based on upgrading all branches of the state power and transiting to a presidential-parliamentary form of government.

In terms of administrative-territorial system, Kasymov offers to abolish all regional establishments. The government will work directly with regional administrations through the ministries. Heads of these administrations will be elected by people and approved by the president. Kasymov promises to revive collective farming and the right of women to retire at the age of 55.

Mels Eleusizov, l eader of the Environmental Union 'Tabigat' ('Nature') and the only self-promoted candidate, sees Russia as the main priority in Kazakhstan's foreign policy. However, Eleusizov in his platform, 'New line, new way', comes out against Kazakhstan’s joining to the WTO. "It is too early to join the WTO, not having our own all-sufficient production. Thus, we turn ourselves into a raw materials-producing agrarian appendage."

Eleusizov also opposes policies of resettling people in the cities, offering instead to raise living standards in rural areas.

Pre-election campaigning will last in Kazakhstan until April 1.
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