Nur Otan Party

Party website: http://www.ndp-nurotan.kz/site/ 
Chairman: President Nursultan Nazarbayev 
 
In early parliamentary elections on January 15, 2012, the Nur Otan party received 81 percent of the vote, securing its place as the dominant force in Kazakhstan’s government. For the first time in five years, two other parties will join Nur Otan in government. The Ak Zhol party and the Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan, both of which largely back the government, successfully obtained seats in parliament with 7.46 and 7.2 percent of the vote respectively. Nur Otan now holds 83 of the 107 parliamentary seats, Ak Zhol holds eight, and the Communist People’s Party holds seven. 

Brief History and Major Highlights:

Nur Otan ("Light of the Fatherland") has been and remains the dominant political party in Kazakhstan. Its predecessor, the Otan party, was established on February 12, 1999 by the merger of various pro-presidential parties—the People's Union of Kazakhstan, Unity, the Liberal Movement of Kazakhstan, and the "For Kazakhstan-2030" Movement. In 2006, Asar (the party of President Nazarbayev’s daughter Dariga), the Civic Party, and the Agrarian Party merged with Otan, giving the party 90 percent of the seats in parliament. 
 
Otan subsequently changed its name to "Nur Otan," and Nursultan Nazarbayev, while serving as president, took over as party leader on July 4, 2007. The party has a youth group, Zhas Otan ("Youth of the Fatherland"), which was founded in 2008, and a party school devoted to training party members of various levels. Nur Otan defines itself as the party “of President Nazarbayev.”
 
The party's first deputy chairman, Nurlan Nigmatulin, was unanimously selected by parliament to be the speaker of the lower house in January 2012. He has worked in the country's government in various roles since 1985, including as deputy minister of transportation and communication and as akim (the head of the local government) of Karaganda Oblast. He holds a Ph.D. in political science. 
 
Prior to becoming the Nur Otan party secretary for strategic development in 2008, Yerlan Karin was the general director of the International Institute for Modern Politics and the director of the center for antiterrorist programs. In his previous political career he was a member of the political council and the first deputy chairman of the Asar party, as well as the political adviser to the akim of Mangistau Oblast. Karin has coauthored several books on Central Asia and political transition in Kazakhstan and holds a Ph.D. in political science. 
 
Vladimir Bobrov, secretary of the Nur Otan party, was twice elected to the lower house of parliament and from 2010 to 2011 served as the deputy chairman of the lower house. Bobrov has written many works on energy and coauthored guides and textbooks on electrical supply for manufacturing. He holds a Ph.D. in engineering.  

Political Platform:

The party's focus over the next five years will be on education and health in the hopes of building a strong economy and a high standard of living for Kazakhstan’s citizens. 
 
Education and Science:
  • Build a competitive system of quality education 
  • Create bank funds with excellent interest rates for parents to save for their children's education
  • Increase the accessibility of higher technical and professional education for all
  • Renovate education infrastructure; increase the qualifications of teachers
  • Ensure fair pay for teachers; elevate the prestige of the teaching profession
  • Develop Kazakhstani science. 
Health
  • Increase the health of the nation
  • Lower mortality rates; increase the average life expectancy in the country to seventy years
  • Raise the quality and accessibility of medical services.
Economy
  • Ensure that the Kazakhstani economy weathers the world crisis
  • Make the economy competitive on world markets
  • Ensure macroeconomic stability of the national economy
  • Support a high rate of growth of the economy (6–8 percent per year)
  • Radically increase productivity rates
  • Develop infrastructure to facilitate growth of the economy
  • Create a good investment climate
  • Protect the rights of domestic and foreign investors
  • Provide support for domestic entrepreneurs and businesses. 
Social Policy
  • Provide support for mothers and children and for disadvantaged citizens
  • Ensure good quality of life for pensioners
  • Aid the country's youth in finding jobs
  • Build no less than 24.3 million square meters of housing
  • Ensure good quality of housing. 
"Village of the Future": 
  • Raise the quality of life for rural residents
  • Develop the agricultural-manufacturing complex.
  • Increase competitiveness of agricultural manufacturing
  • Aid in the development of rural entrepreneurship through microcredit
  • Reconstruct rural infrastructure. 
Protect Rights of Citizens: 
  • Ensure the further reform of the law enforcement system
  • Raise the level of effectiveness of government bodies
  • Complete the "e-government" and "e-akimaty" programs
  • Fight corruption
  • Further reform the court system. 
Culture: 
  • Create all necessary conditions to encourage investment in culture
  • Support artists’ unions
  • Spread ideas of tolerance and respect for all faiths. 
Language: 
  • Preserve and develop diversity of languages, traditions, and cultures of Kazakhstan
  • Seek to ensure that each Kazakhstani knows Kazakh, Russian, and English. 
Democracy: 
  • Further work on election law
  • Develop legal forms and methods of parliamentary and civic control over government institutions
  • Encourage citizen participation in important decisions
  • Support the advancement of women in government structures
  • Encourage Internet use
  • Build the necessary Internet infrastructure. 
Foreign Policy: 
  • Continue multi-vector policy by strengthening relations with strategic partner countries—Russia, China, the United States, the European Union, and Commonwealth of Independent States countries
  • Encourage the work of the customs union and the formation of a unified economic area with Belarus and Russia
  • Continue negotiations on Kazakhstan's entry into the World Trade Organization
  • Regulate the world currency system
  • Lower the level of nuclear danger
  • Actively participate in the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, international terrorism and extremism, narco-trafficking, and illegal immigration.