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Author: Othmara Glas

Corona in Kazakhstan: An authoritarian transparency offensive

Kazakhstan continues to defy the COVID-19 crisis. Official figures remain encouraging following the government’s harsh measures. However, these statistics do not only involve the virus, but also regime critics.

A lack of protective clothing, too few tests and no suitable treatment: Tolkinai Ordabayeva contracted COVID-19 and made some serious accusations. The 29-year old doctor is a specialist in infectious diseases and works in a regional hospital in Southern Kazakhstan. She wrote on Facebook that she had been infected by a patient because of the lack of appropriate equipment: “The hospital administration has forced the medical staff to sew their own masks because at work they do not provide masks or protective clothing.”

July 7, 2020 - Othmara Glas

New president, old authorities

Kazakhstan’s presidential election on June 9th was a breakthrough. It was the first election in the history of the young country where the main candidate was not Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had ruled Kazakhstan for almost 30 years. The country’s new president is Qasym-Jomart Toqaev, a long-time diplomat and confidant of Nazarbayev.

“I have made a difficult decision for myself – to resign from the powers of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.” It was a historic moment when Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation live on TV on March 19th 2019. He made an unusual decision for a region where presidents tend to die in office rather than resign. This step came by surprise for many at that time but had been in preparation for years.

November 13, 2019 - Othmara Glas

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