Also: Казахстан « Kazaxstan »; Qazaqstan.
Officially: Қазақстан Республикасы « Qazaqstan Respublikasy »; Qazaqstan Respublikasy; Республика Казахстан « Respublika Kazaxstan ».
English: Kazakstan.
Seat of government: Астана « Astana ».
Status: Not democratic.
Structure: Autocracy under current president. In theory, the president is elected directly, and parliament comprises the Мәжіліс « Mǝžílís », elected in geographical constituencies, and the Сенат « Senat », partially chosen by regional governments and partially appointed by the president.
Governing party: Нұр Отан « Nur Otan ».
Head of government: Нұрсұлтан Назарбаев « Nursultan Nazarbaev », НО « NO », president.
Chief opposition parties: Ақ Жол « Aq Žol »; Қазақстан Коммунистік Халық Партия « Qazaqstan Kommunistík Xalyq Partija ».
Recent history: Назарбаев « Nazarbaev » (1989-) was the last leader of the local ruling-party branch during the Советский « Sovetskiĭ » period, and after independence (1991) followed the standard model of creating a sham democracy. Only five presidential elections have been held; Назарбаев « Nazarbaev » has claimed 99% (1991), 81% (1999), 91% (2005), 96% (2011), and 98% (2015). The president’s party, under various names, has always had a majority in the parliament, whose power is minimal in any case. Opponent Жармахан Тұяқбай « Žarmaxan Tujaqbaĭ » may well have had equal support in 2005, but Назарбаев « Nazarbaev » claim a lopsided victory anyway. In 2007 the opposition was totally excluded from parliament through a combination of undemocratic procedures. Opposition leader Әкежан Қажыгелдин « Əkežan Qažygeldin », a former premier (1994-7), has been barred from contesting elections; a trial in absentia convicted him of corruption and sentenced him to hard labor.
FH: 6-5, not free. Econ: 3.45 (127), authoritarian.
Updated: 2015 May 3.