The fact of misbalance in the current political elite of the country in terms of regional representation has been confirmed. The data is obtained through the research by IA Rating.kz public foundation within the project aimed to find out the features and content of Kazakhstan’s political elite.
The analysis allowed bringing to light the following facts:
Regions that lead in regional representation in the top echelons of power are Almaty Oblast, Atyrau Oblast, city of Almaty and Aktobe Oblast.
The high position of Almaty Oblast is mainly described by being the birth place of the incumbent president.
Greater part of the politicians who are natives of Almaty Oblast appeared to be born in the district where Nazarbayev comes from. For example – National Security Chairman Nurtai Abykayev and the Speaker of the Senate Kairat Mami.
The high rating of Atyrau and Aktobe oblasts is based upon the patronage by Aslan Mussin, the Head of Presidential Administration and others from these regions who relatively independently have become influential politicians like Imangali Tasmagambetov and Marat Tazhin. Another reason is unspoken quota of letting the natives of western regions into the power.
The city of Almaty is represented in the top power by young politicians mostly, except the Emergency Minister Vladimir Bozhko. Most of them are children of the Soviet government elite.
Aqmola Oblast doubtlessly outnumbered any other region in the Parliament. However, there is not a single native of this region in the top managements of central executive bodies.
Despite the widespread belief, the research revealed that representation of South Kazakhstan Oblast in the power is not that high but medium.
The least represented regions in the power are North Kazakhstan Oblast, Kostanai Oblast, Pavlodar Oblast, East Kazakhstan Oblast, West Kazakhstan Oblast and Mangystau Oblast.
The West Kazakhstan is mainly represented by the politicians from Atyrau and Aktobe oblasts. There are almost no politicians from West Kazakhstan and Mangystau oblasts in the country government.
The Kazakh statesmen born in Russia (nine) outnumber the natives of Mangystau (two), West Kazakhstan Oblast (five), North Kazakhstan Oblast (five), Astana City (three), and equals East Kazakhstan Oblast, Kostanai Oblast and Pavlodar Oblast (nine from each).
The leading region (Almaty Oblast) has 9.5 times larger representation than the outsider region (Mangystau) in population wise proportion.
If we compare the constitutional postulate that “the only source of state power is the people” and the research results one may conclude that the level of representation of people’s interests in the power varies depending on their address of residence.
The fact that regional affiliation is not sufficiently considered during recruitment to the elite may implicate risks for political stability.
The world practice shows that underestimation of regional factor in political elite formation leads to split of society.
For example, in Russia, the dominance of Petersburgers in the power has triggered the rating downgrade of the Putin-Medvedev tandem in recent years.
Low representation of a region in the power may turn a background for separatism in the region and promote individualization of regional elites and cause migration trends (in Kazakhstan this especially refers to northern regions and East Kazakhstan Oblast).
In the context of the presidential instruction related to social modernization, the lack of social ladders for people in certain regions becomes a top level problem.