New Tactics in Kazakhstan’s Succession Struggle: Rakhat Aliyev Invites Borat to Kazakhstan!!
Rakhat Aliyev (top) and Borat Sagdiyev (bottom)
Perhaps Rakhat Aliyev had read the three points of advice provided by Forbes columnists and PR consultants Marc E. Babej and Tim Pollak last week to the government of Kazakhstan in their attempt to steal Patton Boggs' business, or perhaps the two consultants have already been hired by Aliyev. Regardless, Mr. Aliyev is taking their third point of advice – invite Borat to Kazakhstan. In a brief interview given today to "Kazakhstan Today," Rakhat Aliyev (son-in-law of President Nazarbayev, deputy foreign minister, and competitor for succession to the Kazakh throne) dismissed Borat’s political significance as a joke and suggested that the fictional journalist visit his adopted homeland in Kazakhstan. If Rakhat does not seem yet able to impress his father-in-law by attaining the elusive chairmanship to the OSCE, perhaps he could get back in favor by making important strides in combating the negative image of Kazakhstan created by the character of Borat. The ploy does show increasing sophistication compared with Mr. Aliyev’s call for the establishment of a monarchy in Kazakhstan last month. The question is whether Borat will take the bait and travel to his adopted land before the film's primiere early next month. Either way, the stunt is likely to make Aliyev much better known in the west than anything else he has done in his political career.