Nur Otan

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National Democratic Party
"Nur Otan"

«Нұр Отан»
Халықтық Демократиялық партиясы
Leader Nursultan Nazarbayev
Founded 1 March 1999
Headquarters Astana
Youth wing Zhas Otan
Ideology Big tent
Authoritarianism[1]
Seats in Mazhilis
83 / 98
Website
http://www.ndp-nurotan.kz
Politics of Kazakhstan
Political parties
Elections

Nur Otan (Kazakh: Нұр Отан, translating to "fatherland's ray of light") is the largest political party in Kazakhstan with over 762,000 members.[2] Since 2007 it is headed by President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev[3] Nazarbayev's predecessor in the party was Bakhytzhan Zhumagulov.

Nur Otan Headquarters in Astana

The party's predecessor, Otan was originally established on February 12, 1999 after the merger of several pro-presidential parties, including the People's Union of Kazakhstan Unity, the Liberal Movement of Kazakhstan, and the "For Kazakhstan - 2030" Movement. At the "uniting" congress the new party outlined a program largely supportive of the government of Nazarbayev.[4]

At the last legislative elections under the Otan banner in 2004, the party won 60.6% of the popular vote and 42 out of 77 seats.

Otan merged with Dariga Nazarbayeva's Asar on 25 September 2006, increasing the party's seats by 4 to 46 out of 77.[2]

After the merged party was formed, Nazarbayev remarked to his daughter "Tell your Asar members that... you are returning to your father."[5] Under the new agreement Nazarbayeva will act as one of three deputies beneath her father. The other two deputies are currently Bakhytzhan Zhumagulov and Aleksandr Pavlov. Nazarbayeva said on 19 June 2006 that all pro-Presidential parties should combine to create a grouping "with which no other party will be able to compete in the next 50 years."[6]

In December 2006 it was announced that the Civic Party and the Agrarian Party would follow in Asar's path and also merge with Otan to increase Otan's share of MP's from 46 to 57 seats out of 77. Nazarbayev said he expected other parties to merge with Otan. Nazarbayev said there should be fewer, stronger parties that "efficiently defend the interests of the population."[7] At the subsequent party congress on 22 December 2006, delegates voted to rename the party Nur Otan.

In the 18 August 2007 Assembly elections, the party won 88.05% of the vote and all seats.

In October 2011 a cooperation agreement was signed in Astana between Nur Otan and the Ukrainian Party of Regions.[8]

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