ASTANA – The three candidates vying for Kazakhstan’s top post appealed to the nation’s love of family, environment and human values on Thursday as they begin to wrap up their respective campaigns ahead of polling in the Central Asian nation slated for April 26.
The ruling Nur Otan party and its candidate, incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev, centered their campaign on the government’s current mission, which is focused on the development of the country and the welfare of its inhabitants.
Bolat Baikadamov, who has headed the president’s press office during the campaign, said if Nazarbayev is reelected, the Kazakh leader “would continue with the policy of family, training, excellence, youth and helping the disabled, among others.”
Independent candidate Abelgazy Kussainov, President of the Federation of Trade Unions, has centered his campaign on environmental issues.
According to his campaign manager, Zhanar Sabdyneyeva, environmental protection and industry-monitoring laws were needed to make sure development in Kazakhstan remained sustainable.
“Many emerging countries only think about food and money. We know that development has to be linked to environmental protection, otherwise progress can be converted into a regression,” she said.
Sabdyneyeva recalled that the former Soviet Union chose her country to conduct nuclear tests.
“The tests resulted in thousands of victims and that is why we pay special attention to make sure development respects the environment,” she said.
When asked about her candidate’s chances of winning Sunday’s presidential elections, Sabdyneyeva was optimistic.
“Nothing is impossible. We have a lot of support. If we thought we didn’t have a chance, we would not have begun the campaign,” she said.
Meanwhile, Communist Party candidate Turgun Syzdykov has made human values the centerpiece of his campaign.
His campaign manager, Aikyn Konyrov, explained that “human values, coexistence and internationalism are the keys to a peaceful world.”
“The world now knows that stability and prosperity are necessary for the future of peoples and for this we must promote tolerance, “ Konyrov said.
“Living in peace is a Kazakh feature. We have a history of hospitality and kindness that we intend to pass on to future generations without forgetting the importance of family in our society,” he concluded.