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Central Asia news

Nazarbayev's son-in-law Rahat Aliyev maintains that monarchy is the best possible arrangement for Kazakhstan

04.09.2006 14:51 msk

Igor Yavlyansky

Politics Kazakhstan

The newspaper Karavan featured a piece by Rahat Aliyev, the husband of president's daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva, titled "Republikostan or Kazakh Sultanate: The Choice Is Ours". Aliyev maintains that monarchy, not republic, is the best possible arrangement for Kazakhstan.

Aliyev, 44, is convinced that the very name of the country - Republic of Kazakhstan - is already a paradox. It includes a reference to a republic on the one hand, and the traditional Asian suffix "stan" on the other. To quote from the piece, "something like a horse and a deer that are not supposed to be in one harness together." Nazarbayev's son-in-law does not think that the republican form of rule is adequate for the principal objective - that of maintenance of stability - in Kazakh society which is still held together by the juzy or clannish relations.

Where did the republic appear from in the endless steppes in the first place? Aliyev has the answer. He maintains that "this alien model had been forced on the Kazakh people by the Bolsheviks and kept up when the Soviet Union disintegrated." As far as Aliyev is concerned, "this model is not actually compatible with the structure of society." Even worse," this republican system breeds corruption" in Kazakhstan - and first and foremost in security structures and law enforcement agencies.

"Democratic monarchy" constitutes the best adequate arrangement for Kazakhstan. Aliyev does not think that the terms "democracy" and "monarchy" contradict each other. He believes that they are complementary. Presidents are elected like hired managers, they answer for the country only as long as they remain in the driver's seat. Dynasties that rule for centuries on end are a wholly different matter.

Diplomat with a scalpel

Aliyev's rise from an ordinary surgeon to senior deputy foreign minister of Kazakhstan was trailblazing. That he is the husband of Dariga and the father of the president's two grandsons and granddaughter certainly helped. At first, Aliyev abandoned medicine for free enterprise. In 1996, he entered the civil service. He was one of the heads of the tax police, senior deputy chief of counterintelligence, second-in-command of the presidential security detail, and ambassador to Austria at one time or another. There are the rumors that he owed his ambassadorship to the enemies who feared that Dariga was exerting too much influence on the president. Aliyev is with the Foreign Ministry now. He is president of the National Olympic Committee with doctor's degrees in medical and economic sciences, and major general.