President Tokayev Signs Nationwide Action Plan to Implement Announced Political Reforms

NUR-SULTAN – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a nationwide plan of action on Tuesday to implement the tasks he voiced in his March 16 state of the nation address, reports the Akorda press service.

President Tokayev. Photo credit: Akorda press service

The government presented the plan earlier that day. Minister of National Economy Alibek Kuantyrov said the draft national plan consists of 36 measures in 10 areas aimed at changing the political system and the administrative and territorial structure of the country, as well as adopting anti-crisis measures.

The presidential address vowed major political reforms, including limiting the powers of the president, giving more powers to the parliament and establishing new regions, among other initiatives with each of them aimed at cementing the New Kazakhstan agenda.

The first pace outlined in the plans includes three measures to move away from an excessive concentration of presidential powers, including the termination of the President’s membership in a political party for the term of his presidential power, and a ban on holding the posts of political civil servants and leaders of quasi-public sector enterprises for close relatives of the President. 

“The legislation will prohibit akims (mayors and governors) and their deputies to hold positions in branches of political parties, as well as the provision on mandatory withdrawal of chairs and members of the Central Election Commission, the Counting Committee, and the Constitutional Council from the party,” said Kuantyrov. 

Among the plans are also a program to establish a Constitutional Court, exclude the death penalty from the Constitution as a form of punishment, and provide constitutional regulation and guarantees for the Commissioner for Human Rights.

The ministry has already started the work to create the new Abai, Zhetysu, and Ulytau administrative regions.

“The draft presidential decree on the administrative-territorial structure of Kazakhstan, which provides for the creation of new regions, will be submitted to the Presidential Administration in the near future,” said the minister.

He also spoke about the anti-crisis measures aimed at ensuring the stability of the financial system, controlling and reducing inflation, stimulating foreign trade and investment.

“It is planned to prepare a new package of structural reforms in the economy and public administration, taking into account the strategy of political modernization,” he said.  

Other measures in the plan include reformatting the Parliament by giving it more powers, improving the electoral system by simplifying the registration of parties, strengthening human rights institutions,  improving the competitiveness of the media, strengthening the role of civil society, decentralization of local government, and establishing new regions. 

“We plan to revise the law on the mass media taking into account the interests of the state, the demands of society, and trends in the development of the media sphere. Approaches will be developed to strengthen the interaction between the state and civil society, aimed at broadly involving NGOs and experts in the preparation and implementation of reforms,” said Kuantyrov.  

Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov said the submitted plan fully meets the objectives and has undergone all necessary coordination procedures. He emphasized the need to start implementation of the plan without any delay. 

“I would like to draw the attention of all executives to your personal responsibility for the quality and timeliness of implementation of each action plan. I charge my deputies to keep their direction of the plan under the strictest control,” he told the meeting. 

 

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