May 19, 2022

Kazakh President announces major changes to political party system in pursuit of political equality

NUR-SULTAN – The decision to quit the post of party chairman and leave its ranks will create equal opportunities for all parties and ensure the fairness of the political system, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said during the 23rd Congress of Amanat left on April 26, Akorda reported.

Photo credit: Akorda

The president resigned as chairman of Kazakhstan’s ruling party, Amanat, and appointed Mazhilis chairman Yerlan Koshanov as chairman of the Amanat party. His nomination was seconded by the other delegates.

“We have done a lot of things together. However, time does not stand still. Many things have changed. We are faced with large-scale tasks. Today, there is a profound demonopolization of all areas in our country. This process should not circumvent the political system. I consider it appropriate that the Head of State does not give preference to any party and, in other words, is 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 the maslikhats (local executive bodies).

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

The Constitutional Council has begun examining the President’s proposal to amend the Constitution to implement the reforms expressed in his address on the state of the nation.

“The goal of constitutional reform is to lay a solid foundation for a more comprehensive political modernization of the country,” Tokayev said. “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 fair Kazakhstan. You should agree that our citizens clearly lack social justice. The disregard for the interests of ordinary people is all too frequent and the representatives of the state apparatus are at the origin of sometimes flagrant injustices.

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

The amendments and additions to the Constitution will provide a legal basis for reforms aimed at moving from the super-presidential form of government and strengthening the powers of parliament and the maslikhats.

The partisan 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, the president said.

Last March, the Adal party announced its intention to merge with the Amanat party. Tokayev welcomed this decision. “We see that, in general, the partisan field is set in motion. The initiative of the Adal party to merge with the Amanat party is a good indicator of the beginning of change. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the leaders and members of Adal, who made this important decision. Building the new Kazakhstan requires the 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 unite. Adal has a strong party core and his own supporter base. This is particularly valuable in the conditions of increasing political competition,” he said.

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

“The Amanat party will continue to federate supporters of the presidential course of reforms. The Head of State announced that he temporarily accepted this post, until the end of the year. The political promise has been kept. He proposed limiting the powers of the president, including terminating his membership in a political party for the duration of his term. The President, without waiting for amendments to the Constitution, began the implementation of the political reforms he initiated,” Karin wrote on her Telegram.