Politics of Kazakhstan
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The politics of Kazakhstan takes place in the framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President of Kazakhstan is head of state and nominates the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament.
|President||Nursultan Nazarbayev||Nur Otan||24 April 1990|
|Prime Minister||Serik Akhmetov||Nur Otan||24 September 2012|
|Chairman of the Senate||Kassym-Jomart Tokayev||Nur Otan||16 October 2013|
|Chairman of the Mazhilis||Nurlan Nigmatulin||Nur Otan||20 January 2012|
The president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The prime minister and first deputy prime minister are appointed by the president. Council of Ministers is also appointed by the president. President Nazarbayev expanded his presidential powers by decree: only he can initiate constitutional amendments, appoint and dismiss the government, dissolve Parliament, call referendums at his discretion, and appoint administrative heads of regions and cities.
The president is the head of state. He also is the commander in chief of the armed forces and may veto legislation that has been passed by the Parliament. President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been in office since Kazakhstan became independent, won a new 7-year term in the 1999 election that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said fell short of international standards. A major political opponent, former prime minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, was prohibited from running against the president because he had attended an unauthorized meeting of "the movement for free elections". On top of this the election was unconstitutionally called two years ahead of schedule. Free access to the media is also denied to opposing opinions. In 2002 a law set very stringent requirements for the maintenance of legal status of a political party, which lowered the number of legal parties from 19 in 2002 to 8 in 2003. The prime minister, who serves at the pleasure of the president, chairs the Cabinet of Ministers and serves as Kazakhstan's head of government. There are three deputy prime ministers and 16 ministers in the Cabinet. |Serik Akhmetov became the Prime Minister in September 2012.
The legislature, known as the Parliament (Parliament), has two chambers. The Lower House Assembly (Mazhilis) has 107 seats, elected for a four-year term, 98 seats are from party lists, 9 - from Assembly of People. All MPs are elected for 5 years. The Upper House Senate has 47 members, 40 of whom are elected for six-year terms in double-seat constituencies by the local assemblies, half renewed every two years, and 7 presidential appointees. In addition, ex-presidents are ex officio senators for life. Majilis deputies and the government both have the right of legislative initiative, though most legislation considered by the Parliament is proposed by the government. Several deputies are elected from the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan.
There are 44 judges on the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan. There are seven members of the Constitutional Council.
Political parties and elections
On December 4, 2005, Nursultan Nazarbayev was reelected in a land-slide victory. The electoral commission announced that he had won over 90% of the vote. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) concluded the election did not meet international standards despite some improvements in the administration of the election. Xinhua News Agency reported that Chinese observers, responsible in overseeing 25 polling stations in Astana, found that voting in those polls was conducted in a "transparent and fair" manner.
|Candidates and nominating parties||Votes||%|
|Nursultan Nazarbayev - Fatherland (Otan)||6,147,517||91.15|
|Zharmakhan Tuyakbay - Coalition for a Just Kazakhstan (Ediletti Kazakhstan Yuzhin)||445,934||6.61|
|Alikhan Baimenov - Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Bright Path (Qazaqstan Demokratiyalyk Partiyasi Ak Zhol)||108,730||1.61|
|Yerassyl Abylkassymov - Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan (Qazaqstan Kommunistik Khalkik Partiyasi)||23,252||0.34|
|Mels Eleusizov - Tabighat||18,834||0.28|
|Total (turnout 76.8%)||6,744,267|
|Source: Embassy of Kazakhstan in the United Kingdom|
|Parties and alliances||Votes||%||Seats|
|Nationwide Social Democratic Party (Zhalpyulttyk Sotsial-Demokratiyalyk Partiya)||271,525||4.62||0|
|Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol (Qazaqstan Demokratiyalyk Partiyasi Ak Zhol)||192,155||3.27||0|
|Auyl Social Democratic Party (Auyl Sotsial-Demokratiyalyk Partiyasi)||93,023||1.58||0|
|People's Communist Party of Kazakhstan (Qazaqstan Khalyk Kommunistik Partiyasi)||77,274||1.31||0|
|Party of Patriots||44,175||0.75||0|
|Total (turnout 64.56%)||98|
International organization participation
In 1999, Kazakhstan applied for observer status at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. The official response of the Assembly was that Kazakhstan could apply for full membership, because it is partially located in Europe, but that they would not be granted any status whatsoever at the Council until their democracy and human rights records improved.
AsDB, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (associate), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)
- Will Kazakhstan Be Next? - On Political Developments in Kazakstan by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
- Central Asia Commerce