ASTANA – More than 1,500 people participated on Thursday in the 22nd edition of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, a gathering presided over by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who will be seeking re-election once again on Sunday.
During the assembly, Nazarbayev, who has been in office since 1991, hailed a recent survey conducted by a British polling firm that found that “more than 93 percent of Kazakhs are satisfied with the country’s current situation,” the presidential press office said.
He also referred to the varied composition of the gathering, which brings together representatives of Kazakhstan’s more than 130 ethnic groups, saying the day of the assembly could rightfully be considered a day of appreciation for all of the nation’s ethnicities.
“The history of inter-ethnic relations (in the Central Asian nation) should be taught objectively in schools and universities. More than 1.5 million people from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus arrived in Kazakhstan in the early 20th century,” the president said.
He also recalled that in 1930, during the Soviet Union’s forced collectivization of agriculture, “250,000 peasants who had been stripped of their land were deported to our country. More than a million people from the Soviet Union were relocated to Kazakhstan to build factories.”
Veterans and members of the assembly from all regions of the country, representatives of the nation’s ethnic groups, members of Parliament, and the heads of the central executive bodies took part in the meeting.
Representatives of different Kazakh political parties, religious organizations and non-governmental organizations, as well as of foreign countries’ diplomatic missions, also participated.