Kazakh President Sets March 20 as Date of Parliamentary Election

ASTANA – President Nursultan Nazarbayev set March 20 as the date for an early parliamentary election after meeting with top officials and appealing to the people of Kazakhstan concerning the initiative of the deputies of the Mazhilis (lower house of Parliament) to dissolve the chamber and set an early parliamentary election.c05a3ecc02e80adf16bead6b4c8b48e2

Prime Minister Karim Massimov, head of the Presidential Administration Nurlan Nigmatulin, Chairman of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan Igor Rogov and others attended the Jan. 20 meeting where the President made his announcement.

The President emphasised that he had fully considered the proposal of the deputies of the Mazhilis to terminate their powers and to set an early election.

“Today, our country is involved in a complex global and economic situation. For instance, the raw materials price decline has caused an economic crisis; devaluation has affected all the currencies of the world; rising terrorist threats; falling volumes of global trade, etc.,” said the President in a statement shown on major TV channels across the country in prime time.

Nazarbayev noted that in today’s reality, it is necessary to learn to live with the low prices of raw materials and to continue industrialisation development as well as expansion of small and medium-sized businesses.

“In this difficult situation, the most important thing for all of us is to understand that we must live within our means, save resources and jobs. The government and the Parliament have to work together and take prompt action. Our people, as always, need to unite and to fight back, if necessary by law, any possible provocations during this difficult time. This is a global process that any country, including Kazakhstan, could not influence. Therefore, we all need to pull together and help each other,” he said.

The head of state also reminded that the country needs to continue its direction, namely, by realising the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy, implementing the Plan of the Nation “100 Concrete Steps on the implementation of the five institutional reforms” as well as the Nurly Zhol economic policy.

The President noted that Kazakh society is ready to meet various challenges during this period.

“We have covered a worthy path since we gained independence, the length of almost quarter of a century. We have become one people, hardened through creative work, and we have created a successful state, respected around the world. I take the initiative of the deputies as a manifestation of patriotic concern about the fate of Kazakhstan. The setting of the early election for the Mazhilis at the same time as the elections for maslikhats (local assemblies) will save time and financial resources. I thank all the deputies for their attention to the interests of the country and for the manifestation of high historical responsibility,” said the head of state.

The President stressed that in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution, he consulted with thechairmen of the chambers of Parliament, prime minister and chairman of the Constitutional Council, on the basis of which it was decided to support the initiative of the Mazhilis deputies.

“I am convinced that the renewal of representative branches of government is meeting the interests of the country and its people. Political parties should nominate competent, business-oriented and dedicated candidates who are able to understand the interests of the country as well as problems of the agenda. Today, I signed a decree on dissolution of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the fifth convocation. The early election for the Mazhilis are scheduled for March 20, 2016,”the Kazakh President said.

Nazarbayev appealed to all citizens of Kazakhstan, to all social strata of society to support the decision dictated by the times.

“I urge all to participate actively in the elections and again to show our solidarity and unity for the future of our country. As guarantor of the Constitution, I instruct the Central Election Commission and all public authorities to ensure the legality, transparency and fairness of the upcoming elections. I am confident that the electoral campaign and the elections will help consolidate the nation during the current period of time and bring Kazakhstan to a new level of development,” concluded the President.

Prime Minister Massimov added that a plan for the transition to a new track will be performed.

Rogov as a chairman of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan confirmed the legitimacy of the upcoming elections.

The previous parliamentary election in January 2012 led to the three-party Mazhilis with the ruling Nur Otan party holding the overwhelming majority out of 107 seats.

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