NUR-SULTAN – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in his annual state of thе nation address on March 16 focused on the need to create “a favorable environment for the institutional and organizational development of parties” that will ensure clean and free political competition.
The main changes concern the simplification of party registration procedures. The new proposition reduces the registration threshold for a party fourfold, from 20,000 to 5,000 people. It should be noted that before the start of President Tokayev’s tenure it was 40,000, which means that in less than three years it has been reduced eightfold.
The minimum membership of regional offices will be cut threefold – from 600 to 200 people. The minimum number of citizens’ initiative groups to create a party will be cut from 1,000 to 700 people.
President Tokayev also proposed legislative changes in conducting electoral campaigns to overcome obstacles in conducting fair and transparent elections.
“In the era of rapid development of communication technologies, the activity of candidates and parties on social media is of great importance. But the current legislation does not regulate campaigns on social networks,” said Tokayev. He proposed changes in legislation that will allow parties to perform campaigns on social media, establishing relevant regulations and rules.
“It is also necessary to legislate the activity of observers. This institution is an indispensable element of transparent elections,” added Tokayev stressing that observers should have clear rights and responsibilities.
Among other reforms concerning elections President Tokayev mentioned the need to form a unified electronic voter base that will prevent the possibility of double voting, setting limits on donations made to election funds, and ensuring the financial transparency of all electoral campaign participants, including candidates, observers, and the media.