ASTANA – The Mazhilis (lower chamber of Parliament) unanimously passed a resolution on Feb. 18 calling for an early presidential election, joining a growing chorus of calls from across Kazakhstan’s political spectrum for such a step.
“We have to make our decision on this issue. I suggest appealing in two points. The first is to support the appeal of the council of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan to hold an early presidential election. The second is to call on the President from the Mazhilis of Parliament to support the initiative of the Council of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (APK) to hold an early presidential election,” said Chairman of the Mazhilis Kabibulla Dzhakupov before the resolution was passed.
In the Mazhilis’ resolution appealing to the President to hold an early election, deputies expressed confidence that the election will help strengthen Kazakhstan’s statehood and emphasised that the concept of an earlier election is supported by political parties and civil society.
During the session, all 104 deputies present voted for the resolution. The Mazhilis has the authority to set regular elections for the first Sunday of December, but only the head of state can set the date for an early presidential election, according to Kazakhstan’s Сonstitution.
Ahead of the meeting at the Mazhilis, Deputy Chairman of the Nur Otan political party Baurzhan Baibek commented at a Central Communications Service (CCS) briefing on the Feb. 14 proposal of the APK to hold an early presidential election.
“Nur Otan as the leading political party in the country fully supports the initiative. … In this regard, by supporting the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, we consider the initiative to hold an early presidential electionrightand in the interests of the country and the people,” said Baibek.
He also noted that during the party’s Feb. 16 political council meeting members stressed the importance of the state and society working together to implement the Nurly Zhol economic programme and undertake measures to sustain Kazakhstan’s economic growth in order to strengthen unity and stability in the country.
The previous presidential election was held in April 2011, during which President Nazarbayev won a five-year term with 95.5 percent of the vote.