The first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, did not appear in public after the start of mass protests in the country. This was the reason for the spread of a huge number of rumors about his whereabouts. There were versions that he is in China, fled to Kyrgyzstan or the United Arab Emirates, he was kidnapped, or he is sick with a coronavirus. Now a new theory has appeared – Elbasy is being held in captivity on the territory of the republic, and he is terribly angry and outraged by the latest events.
Russian sociologist Igor Eidman reported on the whereabouts of Nursultan Nazarbayev on his Facebook page. According to him, the leader of the nation is on the territory of Kazakhstan, he is alive and sane, but he is being kept under unofficial house arrest. Who is holding Nazarbayev, the sociologist did not specify, but noted that he perceives the latest events in the country as a betrayal. The former Kazakh leader is allegedly required to publicly renounce power, but he resists and is not going to declare support for President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
In Kazakhstan itself, the version of Nazarbayev’s unofficial house arrest was not heard, noting that there are already too many speculations. “We have practically no information on this issue, although representatives of the authorities, the deputies and just the population are interested in this issue. The latest official information was that he was in the capital and was negotiating with heads of state. In fact, there are rumors that he is already in Switzerland or China, or is in a coma under a ventilator. There is no reliable information here,” journalist Askar Kubaizhanov said in a conversation with MK.
He stressed that such speculation does not contribute to the stabilization of the situation in the country and only adds to the intrigue. They do not shed light on the whereabouts of Nazarbayev and members of his family, who also practically ceased to appear in public.
“After the latest protest moods, the mention of the leader of the nation and his family causes a certain negative,” says Kubaizhanov. – Apparently, Dariga Nazarbayeva, as an intelligent person and a deputy of the Majilis, decided to take a break. She is in Kazakhstan, but was not present at the meeting of the parliament, explaining that she was sick. Nursultan Nazarbayev is a smart politician and in the past it sometimes happened that he took a break, after which he already appeared on horseback. Perhaps this is the situation now. He will wait until the first emotions subside and appear. But how the population will perceive it, I can’t say.”
About where Nazarbayev is hiding and why he does not appear in public, “MK” talked with the head of the department of Kazakhstan and Central Asia of the Institute of CIS Countries Andrey Grozin:
– When the protests began, I even thought that Nursultan Nazarbayev had died. It seemed logical and explained what was happening. Then there were statements by his press secretary that Nazarbayev himself handed over the post of head of the Security Council to Tokayev and so on. Now I think that he is rather alive, because otherwise his relatives would have left the country long ago. If this does not happen, then it means that he is either alive, or they agreed that he seems to be alive.
– Can he be kept under some kind of house arrest?
– Of course not. Who could keep him there? Tokaev or what? It’s impossible and it won’t be. Nazarbayev is a figure that many would like to put in a closet and not remember him, but, on the other hand, he is the founding father of today’s Kazakhstan, and there is no getting away from this.
– And what if Nazarbayev really doesn’t want to recognize Tokayev’s decisions?
– He won’t say it publicly. Nazarbayev nominated him for this post, so such a statement would be tantamount to saying: “Sorry, I’m an idiot – I appointed this fool.” It’s impossible.
– If Nazarbayev is alive, conscious and no one is holding him, then where can he be and why is he hiding?
– There is a version of the opposition that he is seriously ill and has withdrawn himself from all these things. But Nazarbayev is a person who does not let anything take its course, he always keeps his finger on the pulse and controls everything. Therefore, it is hard to believe in the version with the disease.
I think if he leaves Kazakhstan for the UAE, China, Russia, and so on, he will lose the opportunity to influence the adoption of specific decisions in order to ensure the well-being of his family. Moreover, he has many relatives who, probably, are now resorting to him shouting: “Dad, they want to take away the bank from us! Need to do something”. Having such obligations, Nazarbayev cannot leave the country.
Most likely, he sits in his native village of Shamalgan, and after the passions subside, he will show himself. If, of course, he is alive.