Nur Otan

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Bright Fatherland

Nur Otan
ChairmanNursultan Nazarbayev
First DeputyBauyrjan Baibek
Parliamentary LeaderNurlan Nigmatulin
Founded12 February 1999 (as Otan)
22 December 2006 (as Nur Otan)
Merger ofPeople's Union of Kazakhstan Unity
Democratic Party
Civic Party
Agrarian Party
People's Cooperative Party
Youth wingZhas Otan
Membership (2007)762,000
IdeologyKazakh nationalism[1]
Pragmatic Eurasianism
Political positionCatch-all
Colours    Cyan, gold
Seats in Mazhilis
76 / 107
399 / 489
2,286 / 2,757

Nur Otan (lit.'Radiant Fatherland') has been the ruling party of Kazakhstan since 1999, claiming a membership of over 762,000 members.[3] The party was founded on 12 February 1999 after the merger of several previously independent pro-presidential parties, including the People's Union of Kazakhstan Unity, the Liberal Movement of Kazakhstan, and the "For Kazakhstan - 2030" Movement.


Nur Otan Headquarters in Nur-Sultan

The party was originally established on 12 February 1999 after several parties, including the People's Union of Kazakhstan Unity, the Liberal Movement of Kazakhstan and the "For Kazakhstan - 2030" Movement were merged. In its 1st Congress, held on 1 March 1999 in Almaty, the party outlined a program largely supportive of the government of Nazarbayev.[4]

In the run-up to previous elections, Nur Otan usually received a majority of domestic media coverage. Before the 1999 election, for example, it was reported that Otan was the main focus in almost 60% of the coverage.[5] Additionally, most of the country's major media outlets had political leanings towards Otan (including those networks such as Khabar, which were formally supportive of Asar).

In the 2004 Kazakh legislative election, the party won 60.6% of the popular vote and 42 out of 77 seats, becoming a majority in the Mazhilis. Otan merged with Dariga Nazarbayeva's Asar on 25 September 2006, increasing the party's seats by 4 to 46 out of 77.[3]

After the merged party was formed, Nazarbayev remarked to his daughter "Tell your Asar members that... you are returning to your father."[6] 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."[7]

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."[8] At the subsequent party congress on 22 December 2006, delegates voted to rename the party Nur Otan.

In the 2007 Kazakh legislative election, the party won 88.05% of the vote and all seats.

In October 2011 a cooperation agreement was signed in Nur-Sultan between Nur Otan and the Ukrainian Party of Regions,[9] and another in 2015 with United Russia.[citation needed]

Electoral history[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

Election Party candidate Votes % Result
2005 Nursultan Nazarbayev 6,147,517 91.15% Elected Green tickY
2011 7,850,958 95.55% Elected Green tickY
2015 8,833,250 97.75% Elected Green tickY
2019 Kassym-Jomart Tokayev 6,504,024 70.76% Elected Green tickY

Mazhilis elections[edit]

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1999 Nursultan Nazarbayev 1,622,895 30.90%
23 / 77
Increase 23 Increase 1st Minority government
2004 5,621,436 60.60%
42 / 77
Increase 19 Steady 1st Majority government
2007 5,247,720 88.40%
98 / 98
Increase 41 Increase 1st Supermajority government
2012 5,621,436 80.99%
83 / 98
Decrease 15 Steady 1st Supermajority government
2016 6,183,757 82.20%
84 / 98
Increase 1 Steady 1st Supermajority government
2021 5,148,074 71.09%
76 / 98
Decrease 8 Steady 1st Supermajority government

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Laruelle, Marlene (2016). Kazakhstan in the Making: Legitimacy, Symbols, and Social Changes. Lexington Books. p. 173.
  2. ^ Isaacs, Rico (2011). Party System Formation in Kazakhstan. Routledge. p. 224. ISBN 9781136791086.
  3. ^ a b Kazakhstan: Ruling Party Gets Even Bigger RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
  4. ^ Information on Political Parties Participating on the Basis of Party Slates in Elections to Majilis of Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan
  5. ^ Media Bias Mars Kazakhstan's Election Campaign Archived 2018-07-26 at the Wayback Machine EurasiaNet
  6. ^ Parties of Kazakh Leader, Daughter Merge Townhall
  7. ^ Analysis: Kazakh premier takes over daughter's party Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine Middle East Times
  8. ^ "Pro-Nazarbaev Party Merges With President's Power Base"
  9. ^ Regions Party to cooperate with ruling party in Kazakhstan, Kyiv Post (24 November 2011)

External links[edit]