Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the case of the missing nazarbayev

kazakhstan president nazarbayev disappeared. his office says he's on a short vacation. but a german tabloid reported that he is in a hospital in hamburg. the telegraph of london picked up the story and reported that he is in the hamburg hospital for prostate surgery.

meanwhile, before the telegraph story came out, KZBlog said it was premature to panic. i understand the sentiment, but that speaks volumes about just how irresponsible president nazarbayev has been by not addressing the successorship issue. an entire country is potentially one choke-on-a-pretzel away from chaos. (or maybe not. that's just it, no one knows what will happen after prez naz goes)

the other thing this incident brings to mind is all the times i was told that while the medical system in taraz was a mess, the country had first-rate medical facilities in almaty and astana. maybe that's true. but it's still telling that nazarbayev flew to germany for prostate surgery (a fairly common fairly low risk procedure) instead using one of the allegedly first-rate facilities in astana. or maybe he decided to have the operation in another country because he knew that a kazakhstani doctor would be so nervous to operate on the official leader of the nation, the doctor's hands couldn't be counted on to stop shaking.