Redistribution of Powers: New Stage of Kazakhstan’s Democracy Development
23 February 2017
By the end of February 2017 the project on constitutional reform in Kazakhstan will be presented for public discussion.
In January 2017, Honorable Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan addressed the nation on redistribution of powers among governmental bodies. A special working group had been created by the President’s decree to carry out a thorough work on the issue of redistributing powers.
The upcoming reforms are based on the principles of Kazakhstan’s development and the principles of modern development in general. The reforms will lead to the delegation of some powers to the Parliament and the Government by the President.
Strong presidential power was necessary to Kazakhstan to overcome enormous difficulties during the first years of Independence and state formation period. Now Kazakhstan shifts to a new level of its historical and democratic development.
During the address to the nation President Nazarbayev stressed that reforms will help to ensure stability of the political system for years to come and provide more effective mechanism of response to modern challenges. The overall purpose of the transformation is to build a more efficient, sustainable, modern system of governance.
The reforms are aimed at improving the efficiency of the public administration system. It will be a serious redistribution of powers and democratization of the political system as a whole.
Under the new conditions the President’s priority areas will be strategic functions, and the role of a supreme arbiter in the relations between governmental branches. The head of state will also focus on foreign policy, national security and defense.
The role of the government and the parliament will significantly expand. The transformation will be conducted in a most part of the President’s functions. For example, regulation of social and economic processes will be transferred to the Government and other executive bodies.
Relations between different branches will need to be balanced at a constitutional level. The Parliament’s role will strengthen in terms of its influence on the Government. The winning party in the parliamentary election will have a decisive influence on the formation of the Cabinet. The Government will abdicate authority to the newly elected Parliament members, not the President, as it was before.
The reforms also include simplifying the procedure of passing a vote of no- confidence in ministers from the parliament chambers. This will strengthen the control of the legislature over the executive power.
The approval of state programs will be transferred to the government, so that it will bear full responsibility for those. The Government might as well acquire the right to form and to abolish central executive bodies that are not included in it.
President Nazarbayev also underlined in his address, that Kazakhstan chose it’s own unique way in further democratic transitions: “There is no universal model of government in the world. We are all in search of it. We have never engaged in copying foreign models of government. We have been trying to find our own, often unique solutions, although there are questions where we follow international experience. Our proposed reform is based primarily on our own experience and needs of Kazakhstan. The reform program is our answer to the question in what direction Kazakhstan will move. The answer is clear and consistent: we will move in the direction of democratic development”.
Embassy of Kazakhstan in Pretoria, South Africa