Tokayev proposed to create a “second republic” after changing the Constitution

The draft amendments provide for the exclusion of the status of elbasy (“leader of the nation”) from the Constitution, as well as the deprivation of the first president of the country, Nursultan Nazarbayev, of most of the privileges

Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed to hold a referendum on amendments to the country's constitution. He stated this at the session of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan. The amendments provide for the exclusion from the Constitution of the status of elbasy (“leader of the nation”), as well as the deprivation of the first president of the country, Nursultan Nazarbayev, of most of the privileges.

“The referendum will allow every citizen to take a direct part in deciding the fate of the country and will strengthen our course towards comprehensive democratization and building a new Kazakhstan”, — Tokayev quoted Tengrinews as saying.

He also stated that the changes he initiated to the Basic Law are fundamental and radically change the political system of Kazakhstan.

“We are moving to a new state model, new format of interaction between the state and society”, — he noted, calling the future political system the “second republic”.

The prepared changes provide for amendments to 33 articles of the Constitution, that is, they affect a third of the Basic Law, he stressed. The relevant bill has been submitted to the Constitutional Council of the country, which should make a decision on the amendments, Tokayev noted.

Earlier, he said that the amendments to the Constitution provide for the withdrawal from the super-presidential form of government in Kazakhstan, strengthening the powers of the parliament and maslikhats (representative bodies at the local level), modernization of the party-political sphere.

“The liberalization of party and electoral legislation will strengthen the role of society in the decisions made at all levels of government,” — Tokayev said.

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In early January, mass protests took place in Kazakhstan due to rising gas prices, which escalated into armed clashes and seizures of government buildings. According to the country's Prosecutor General's Office, as a result of these events, 230 people died, including 19 military and security officials.

One of the demands of the protesters was the withdrawal from the politics of the first president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. After the suppression of protests, Nazarbayev's three sons-in-law, his nephew and other relatives lost their positions, and the country's president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, promised to carry out large-scale reforms in Kazakhstan.

In mid-March, Tokayev announced that the goal of future reforms was to move away from super-presidential republic and the emergence of a “strong parliament”. He also proposed to legislate the termination of the president's membership in the party for the period of office, as well as to prohibit the president's closest relatives from holding public office.

Among other proposals— fixing the death penalty in the Basic Law, transition to a mixed electoral system, reducing the number of signatures for registering parties, as well as developing rules for conducting pre-election campaigning in social networks.

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