ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev outlined the main pillars in ensuring social and economic development of the country during a March 13 meeting, reported the Akorda press service.
Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, heads of state agencies, and akims (governors and mayors) of regions and cities of Astana, Almaty, and Shymkent attended the meeting.
The President stressed the comprehensive modernization of the country’s political system, emphasizing the importance of preserving social stability.
The state-to-the-nation address delivered last March outlined the main directions of the modernization. As a result, the country has entered a new stage of its development. The major reforms have been implemented in a year. In addition, the authorities have undertaken several political transformation steps to bring the state power in line with the new requirements.
“We have clear plans for the future. The elections to the Mazhilis and maslikhats will be the final stage in the renewal of the state institutions. After that, the authorities will receive a mandate of trust to continue reforms. The main task is to put forward new initiatives for the country’s development and their effective implementation. Now it is not the time to be satisfied with what we achieved, and we should continue to work,” Tokayev said.
It is not enough for the country’s development to modernize only the political structure, he said, as reforms should, above all, form a new political culture in society.
“The country should promote new values. From now on, the country will prioritize the nation’s interests and rights of every citizen,” he stressed.
The burden of state and citizens’ responsibility is increasing amid the deterioration of the geopolitical situation. “One careless word or one thoughtless decision could harm the country,” the President warned.
“The state, of course, guarantees freedom of speech. However, this does not mean permissiveness. Every citizen is obliged to comply with the law to preserve peace and the country’s territorial integrity. Law and order are the basis for a stable society,” Tokayev said.
Strengthening the national identity and unity of the people was another critical area the President mentioned. He expressed concerns about the recent trend to erect monuments to personalities known only in one region, which could lead to tribalism and parochialism in the country. He addressed the unauthorized monuments to Soviet-time leaders who were complicit in mass repressions.
“Biographies are being written that include heroic deeds that never happened in real life. Archival documents from the past either disprove these deeds or are completely missing on this subject. Activist groups literally force our society to believe in mythologized biographies of Soviet-era party and state officials,” Tokayev said.
According to the President, “strengthening interethnic harmony is one of the cornerstones of the country’s sustainable development”.
“Its implementation requires joint efforts of the central state bodies and local authorities, the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan and the civil society,” said Tokayev.
He also focused on the need to preserve spiritual values through the adequate upbringing of the younger generation. In this regard, the President instructed akims and relevant authorities to intensify work in the field of religion.
Addressing the social well-being of the population, Tokayev urged the Kazakh government and akims to focus on the priorities that would improve the citizens’ quality of life. He highlighted the significance of the rule of law and civil responsibility.
“We will not allow destabilizing actions, this must be prevented. Otherwise, inaction can lead to dangerous consequences for the country. Law and civil responsibility ensure order in society. In turn, stability will ensure progress and prosperity for society,” he said.
Tokayev urged akims and heads of state agencies to strengthen interaction with citizens and hold public and personal meetings with the people.
According to Tokayev, the state will continue its comprehensive modernization. He announced plans to put forward several new initiatives following the Mazhilis (lower chamber of Parliament) and maslikhat (local representative bodies) elections on March 19.
Deputy Prime Minister Altai Kulginov, Astana Mayor Zhenis Kassymbek, Almaty Mayor Yerbolat Dossayev, and Shymkent Mayor Murat Aitenov also spoke at the event.