Tuesday, December 5, 2023
 
 

Kazakhstan’s citizens approve Constitutional amendments in state-wide referendum

Changes will determine the future of the Central Asian country
KAZAKHSTAN'S FOREIGN MINISTRY
Kazakhstan citizens vote in state-wide referendum on the adoption of amendments to the Constitution that will determine the future of the Central Asian country, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, June 5, 2022.

- Advertisement -

Kazakhstan’s Central Referendum Commission announced on June 6 the preliminary official results of a state-wide referendum on the adoption of amendments to the Constitution that will determine the future of the Central Asian country, proposed earlier this year by the Central Asian country’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, noting that 77.18 % of the voters in the referendum on 5 June approved the proposed amendments.

The vote paves the way for changing 33, or one third articles of the document initially adopted in 1995. The reforms were promoted as tilting significantly the checks and balances in the Kazakh political structure away from a super-presidential system by strengthening competences of the Parliament and local authorities, as well as the human rights protection mechanisms.

“Calculation of ballots cast in all of 10,012 polling stations that were operating across the country and abroad have now been completed. According to the law, the referendum is considered valid, if more than 50% of the citizens eligible to vote have done so in more than two thirds of the country’s regions,” Central Referendum Commission Chairman Nurlan Abdirov said, announcing the preliminary official results of the vote based on the electronic copies of protocols received from all territorial commissions for the referendum. ‘Out of 11,734,642 citizens eligible to vote, 7,986,293 are considered to have cast their ballot, [meaning] a turnout of 68.06%… Thus, the referendum can be considered valid… The [share] of citizens to have answered “Yes” to the question asked at the referendum made 77.18%, or 6,163,863 citizens, an absolute majority in each region of the country. Thus, the law’s conditions have been met,” he added.

At the same time, 18.66% of voters answered “No”, while further 4.16% of the ballots cast were recognised invalid.

Kazakhstan’s Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi highlighted the significance of nation voting in favour of the amendments to the Constitution. “The referendum was a historic moment for Kazakhstan. The approved amendments to the Constitution mean a new phase in the development of our statehood as they clearly aim at strengthening the human rights protection mechanisms and the democratic institutions in Kazakhstan,” Tileuberdi said.

Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister noted that these changes will result in greater competition in the political system of our country and expanded citizen participation in state governance. “One important change will be the ultimate, unequivocal ban on the death penalty, to be clearly written down in the renewed Constitution, in line with our commitment according to the Second Optional Protocol to the 1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Reforms that our Parliament ratified last year,” Tileuberdi said.

“We welcome the high voter turnout and the decision of our compatriots to support these reforms, which will positively impact the lives of every citizen. We are also grateful to numerous domestic and foreign observers for monitoring the referendum, which helped us in conducting it in a fair and transparent manner in line with democratic standards and principles. Therefore, we see this as a clear support from the international community for this referendum and President Tokayev’s reform agenda. Indeed, this is just the first step towards building a New Kazakhstan,” Tileuberdi said, adding, “Significant work lies ahead to implement the amendments at the constitutional and legislative level, and we look forward to working with all our partners as we enter a new chapter in Kazakhstan’s modern history”.

As noted previously, the approved amendments will impact one third of the Constitution (33 articles). Their implementation will facilitate a comprehensive transformation of the entire state model of Kazakhstan, including the transition from a “super-presidential” form of government to a presidential republic with an influential parliament and an accountable government. In addition, the powers of the President will be reduced, the role of the parliament and local authorities will be significantly strengthened, and the mechanisms for the protection of human rights reinforced, including by re-establishing the Constitutional Court and giving a constitutional mandate to the Commissioner for Human Rights.

Earlier, Tokayev stated the main goal of the constitutional reform is “the democratisation of the country and expanding the opportunities for people to participate in governance.”

“Today is an important historical day for our country, indeed. People are taking a fateful decision,” Tokayev said on June 5, adding, “There is no compulsion. The referendum has been organized at a high level”.

 

 

 

 

- Advertisement -

Subscribe to our newsletter

Latest

Playing politics with EU veto power – a very old game

In late November, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, standing alongside...

Africa will watch the DRC’s elections with bated interest

2023 and 2024 are going to be busy years...

Ukraine, Middle East will dominate Cameron’s UK foreign policy agenda

David Cameron, who was made Foreign Secretary in a...

Don't miss

Playing politics with EU veto power – a very old game

In late November, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, standing alongside...

Africa will watch the DRC’s elections with bated interest

2023 and 2024 are going to be busy years...

Ukraine, Middle East will dominate Cameron’s UK foreign policy agenda

David Cameron, who was made Foreign Secretary in a...

What will it take to prevent a Gaza reconstruction fiasco?

Let us be unequivocal about the current war between...

Iran protesters mark anniversary of “Bloody Friday”

Residents in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchistan gathered by the thousands on September 30 to stage protests marking the first anniversary of...

Turkey’s seismic shift

This breakthrough in normalization between Armenia and Turkey comes amid a much wider context, well beyond the simple validation of earthquake diplomacy to elevate crisis response over conflict retention. 

Kazakh to increase the share of renewable energy sources

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the goal is to bring the share of renewable energy in the country's energy balance to at least 15%...

Interview: A Palestinian candidate for mayor in Padova

NE Global spoke during the electoral campaign for the administrative election with Salim El Maoued, candidate mayor of Padova with an independent civic list....

Multinational companies, Tokayev discuss investment in Kazakhstan

Multinational companies and the Kazakh government have discussed the implementation of joint investment projects in Kazakhstan.On the eve of the 34th meeting of the...

Interview: Polish film showing animal gentle soul is awarded in Cannes

NE Global interviewed on the Croisette in exclusive Ewa Piakowska, screenwriter of the film EO which landed, ex-equo with the Belgian “Le Otto Montagne”,...

Political ads: At the heart of democracy and the economy

The EU reached a milestone in March when it concluded an agreement on the Digital Services Act (DSA), accompanied by its sister legislation the...

New report shows young Europeans fear spread of war

As war continues to rage in Ukraine, a new survey has found that nearly two-thirds of young people in Europe fear that the conflict...