Kazakh President Announces Major Changes in Political Party System in Pursuit of Political Equality

NUR-SULTAN – The decision to step down from the position of the Chairman of the party and leave its ranks will create equal opportunities for all parties and ensure the fairness of the political system, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the 23rd Congress of the Amanat party on April 26, reported Akorda. 

Photo credit: Akorda

The President has resigned as the Chairman of Kazakhstan’s ruling party Amanat and nominated Mazhilis Speaker Yerlan Koshanov for the position of the Chairman of the Amanat party. His nomination was supported by the other delegates.

“We have done a lot together. However, time does not stand still. Many things have changed. We are facing large-scale tasks. Today there is a profound demonopolization of all spheres in our country. This process must not bypass the political system. I consider it expedient that the Head of State should not give preference to any party and, in other words, be politically neutral. This is my inviolable position,” Tokayev said.

The President spoke about the role of the Amanat party, which now has a strong majority in the Mazhilis and maslikhats (local executive bodies). 

“Amanat prioritizes the affirmation of the principle of social justice. An extremely important mission of our organization is to strengthen statehood and preserve the unity of the people. At the last congress, a rebranding of the party was announced. Work has begun on its institutional modernization. The party immediately set about fulfilling these tasks. There are concrete results, and we already see specific changes. We need to continue this work without slowing down,” he said.

The Constitutional Council began its consideration of the President’s proposal to amend the Constitution to implement the reforms voiced in his state-of-the-nation address.

“The purpose of the constitutional reform is to lay a solid foundation for further comprehensive political modernization of the country,” explained Tokayev. “The adoption of the draft amendments will allow us to build a qualitatively new model of formation and functioning of state institutions – the New Kazakhstan… The New Kazakhstan is, in fact, a Just Kazakhstan. You should agree our citizens clearly lack social justice. Disregard for the interests of ordinary people happens all too often, and representatives of the state apparatus are the source of sometimes-flagrant injustice.”

The party has to serve as an effective channel of engagement between the civil society and the authorities, according to Tokayev.

The amendments and additions to the Constitution will provide a legal basis for reforms to move from the super-presidential form of government and strengthen the powers of the Parliament and maslikhats.

The party and political sphere will also be modernized. A liberalization of the law on parties and elections will strengthen the role of society in decision-making at all levels of government, said the President. 

This March, the Adal party announced plans to merge with the Amanat party. Tokayev welcomed this decision. “We can see that, in general, the party field is coming into motion. The initiative of the Adal party to merge with the Amanat party is a good indicator of the beginning of changes. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the leaders and Adal members, who made this important decision. Building the New Kazakhstan requires solidarity and mobilization of all healthy socio-political forces. It is very important to establish a dialogue between the parties and to develop the political system. Therefore, I consider it right to support this initiative of the Adal party and to unite. Adal has a strong party core and its own base of supporters. This is especially valuable in the conditions of increasing political competition,” he said.

According to State Secretary Erlan Karin, the merger of political parties will expand the electoral base of the ruling party and focus on the course of reforms. 

“The Amanat party will continue to unite supporters of the presidential course of reforms. The head of state announced that he was accepting this position temporarily, until the end of the year. The political promise has been fulfilled. He proposed to limit the powers of the President, including termination of his or her membership in a political party for the period of their term in office. The President, without waiting for amendments to the Constitution, has started the implementation of the political reforms he initiated,” Karin wrote on his Telegram. 

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