Also: Казахстан; Qazaqstan.
Officially: Қазақстан Республикасы/Qazaqstan Respublikasy; Республика Казахстан.
English: Kazakstan.
Seat of government: Астана.
Status: Not democratic.
Structure: Autocracy under current president. In theory, the president is elected directly, and parliament comprises the Мәжіліс, elected in geographical constituencies, and the Сенат, partially chosen by regional governments and partially appointed by the president.
Governing party: Нұр Отан.
Head of government: Нұрсұлтан Назарбаев, НО, president.
Chief opposition parties: Ақ Жол; Қазақстан Коммунистік Халық Партия.
Recent history: Назарбаев (1989-) was the last leader of the local ruling-party branch during the Советский period, and after independence (1991) followed the standard model of creating a sham democracy. Only five presidential elections have been held; Назарбаев 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 may well have had equal support in 2005, but Назарбаев claim a lopsided victory anyway. In 2007 the opposition was totally excluded from parliament through a combination of undemocratic procedures. Opposition leader Әкежан Қажыгелдин, 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.