Early Presidential Elections Provide Enough Timeframe for Implementation of Major Reforms, According to Experts

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh political experts expect early presidential elections, announced by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during his address to the nation on Sept. 1, to provide enough time frame for thorough implementation of presidential reforms.

Akorda presidential residence. Photo credit: akorda.kz

President Tokayev announced his plans to hold extraordinary presidential elections in the coming months with major revisions to the presidential terms. He proposed to extend the presidential term from five to seven years with no permission to be re-elected.

The Assembly of People of Kazakhstan member and Chairman of Assambleya Zhastary (the youth of the assembly) Timur Jumurbayev linked the proposal to conduct early presidential elections with the level of trust in the President and his institutions.

“We can see that the head of state demonstrates high efficiency in carrying out reforms and transforming the political system. It is very important to continue this work. It must be said that society is well aware of this fact and the results of the referendum demonstrate that,” Jumurbayev told Zakon news agency.

 “This lays the mechanism for effective political succession, which is very important in our realities,” the expert explained. “Now it is necessary for the institution of the presidency to be supported by a strong working Parliament and fair and transparent government.”

Political analyst Nikita Shatalov told Tengrinews that the statement would allow to “draw a line” under the current reforms. “He [the President] is determined to smooth out inequality and to cleanse the state from corruption. An expanded mandate is certainly needed here, including its expansion over time. But his position remains the same – no more than two terms, as promised. To his successor, Tokayev intends to leave an order in the country,” he said.

“The elections will fix the status quo and make it possible to carry out reforms calmly in a very difficult foreign economic and geopolitical situation,” wrote political expert Daniyar Ashimbayev on his Telegram channel. In his opinion, early elections remove the “unhealthy games among the elites on the theme of succession or the formation of an external anti-presidential coalition before the 2024 elections.”

Ashimbayev also addressed the President’s social reforms. “The head of the state did not propose a new economic strategy, but rather several strong initiatives to modernize the existing one. Social justice, equal opportunities, and access, improving the quality and efficiency of public policy were at the center,” he said. 

Last presidential elections were held in 2019 when Tokayev won with a majority of votes receiving over 70 percent. The elections were conducted three months after Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation.  

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