President Addresses Congress as Assembly of People Turns 20
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev chaired the XXII Congress of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (APK) on April 23 at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, where the incumbent President discussed issues facing the nation in the run up to the early April 26 presidential election.
The head of state noted that the election is being monitored by international watchdog groups and organisations, including the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and urged all people of Kazakhstan to participate.
“Representatives of 40 countries, more than 1,200 observers and 200 members of the mass media are currently in Kazakhstan. And it is no coincidence. They want to know what Kazakhstan is like, which way we are headed, what our special features are. Therefore, every citizen of Kazakhstan should come to vote and carry out their constitutional duty,” Nazarbayev urged.
He also noted that the more the public participates, the greater will be the mandate of the newly elected president.
“The more Kazakh voters participate in the elections, the more global respect we will gain, the more we prove [our] stability and the more eminence the newly-elected president will have for the implementation of the most important tasks that we face. So I decided to take this opportunity to urge all Kazakhs be more active in the election,” the president underlined.
The incumbent president also emphasised the importance of having such interethnic institutions as the APK and how such vehicles of unity and prosperity could aid other countries.
“I am certain; the more countries use our experience of interethnic harmony, the safer this world would be. Today, each country faces a challenging question to provide stable development in the new [global] conditions. We are witnessing the growth of Islamophobia in Europe that triggers caricatures of Islamic prophets and the instigation of hysteria in some countries. No matter how historians interpret these and other events, their spirit confirms the global nature of today’s challenges and problems related to a fragile sphere of interethnic and interfaith relations,” he noted.
Nazarbayev also noted the positive state of living conditions in Kazakhstan and how far the country has come in the past twenty years.
“Today, all Kazakhs know, can see and experience how their well-being has improved thanks to the economical uplift. It’s a completely different country today compared to 1995, for instance. The growth of the GDP per person has grown by 18 times in 18 years since 1995. This is a Kazakh miracle, this is the reason we are living in these conditions today,” the President stressed and added that a British social service had conducted an independent survey in Kazakhstan and revealed that 93 percent of Kazakhs positively assess the situation in the country. “This is the main assessment, including my work too,” he said.
To further unify the country, the President also urged the gradual rise in use of the Kazakh language and the teaching of the language to the next generation.
“Today, I have to sincerely thank and praise non-Kazakhs who study the Kazakh language, and to the parents who teach their children to speak the language of their homeland from kindergarten. This will unite and create our single citizenship. The development of the Kazakh language has never in history seen such a scale and pace,” the Kazakh leader said, urging parents to continue to encourage their children to learn Kazakh.
During the congress, Nazarbayev appointed new APK deputies Lyubov Ni and Oleg Dymov, and he stressed the importance of developing cultural-humanitarian exchange within the newly formed Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), referring to the union as a bicycle that would fall without constant movement.