Elections in the Construction Process of a “New and Fair Kazakhstan”

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Kazakhstan has entered a process of significant change and transformation after the Tragic January Events in January 2022. The President of Kazakhstan, Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, started a new reform process in the country after the events. At this point, steps have been taken for democratization and liberalization in the country politically and economically.

In his speech on March 16, 2022, the Kazakh leader announced that the country has entered a multidimensional and comprehensive reform process. In his speech, Mr. Tokayev stated that the President will not be a member of a political party, the parliamentary system will be strengthened, the administrative structure will be developed, various powers will be transferred to the parliament, the electoral system will be improved, the parties will be strengthened and the participation of the people in politics will be encouraged.[1] Following this, Kazakhstan entered a referendum and two electoral processes, each of which could be characterized as a threshold.

The first threshold passed by Kazakhstan is the Constitutional referendum held on June 5, 2022. In the referendum held to establish the legal framework of the construction process of a New and Fair Kazakhstan, 77.18% of the people said “yes” to the change. In this context, the separation of powers has become more evident, the check and balance mechanism has been strengthened and a significant progress has been made in strengthening democratic processes by ensuring the rule of law.[2]

Later, the Kazakh leader made a new statement on September 1, 2022. Mr. Tokayev, who called for an early Presidential election in his statement,[3] won the elections held on 20 November 2022. The Kazakh leader, who won the elections with 81% of the vote, enabled his country to cross the second threshold in the construction process of New and Fair Kazakhstan.[4] In this process, important steps have been taken especially at the point of democratization. For example, in Kazakhstan a candidate will be elected only once for a seven-year term. In this way, it is aimed to bring dynamism to the country’s administration with the changing names in the administration.

On 19 January 2023, Mr. Tokayev called for parliamentary and Maslikhat (local representative body) elections to be held on 19 March 2023. The main objective of the said elections is to implement the model of “A strong President-an efficient Parliament-an accountable Government”.[5]

The preliminary results of the elections held on March 19, 2023, upon the call of Mr. Tokayev, were announced by the Central Election Commission. According to the statement, six of the seven parties that participated in the elections exceeded the 5% threshold. In this context, Amanat Party received 53.9%, Auyl People’s Democratic Patriotic Party 10.9%, Respublica Party  8.59%, Aq Jol Democratic Party 8.41%, People’s Party of Kazakhstan 6.8% and National Social Democratic Party 5.2%. However, Baytak received 2.3% of the votes; about 3.9% of the voters ticked the “against all” option.[6]

Amanat, who came first in the elections, is the party that Mr. Tokayev was a member of before. At this point, it can be stated that although he is not a member of political party, the relationship between the President and the Parliament will continue to be strong. In this context, it is seen that the Kazakh administration has successfully crossed all the thresholds in the construction process of New and Fair Kazakhstan. In the process of reshaping the political environment, the pace of development and development of Kazakhstan will draw more attention. Particularly, the establishment of politically appropriate environment will increase the expectations for the acceleration of economic development.

The Astana administration has been carrying out various political and economic reform movements within the country for a long time. As a matter of fact, the rise of Kazakhstan; it is shaped within the framework of the dynamics of encouraging the active participation of the society in politics, improving human rights, adopting a more systematic just administration and avoiding nepotism and oligarchic capitalism. At this point, it can be argued that the elections on March 19, 2023, which were held on the eve of the Nowruz Festival, symbolized the rebirth of Kazakhstan.

As a result, Kazakhstan seems to have learned an important lesson from the Tragic January Events and the process leading up to them. It gave the most effective response to the events by strengthening the management, making it more systematic and updating it so that the power is not concentrated in the hands of a single center. In addition, it makes the decision making and intervention process more effective and healthy with the critical steps taken at the point of institutionalization. Thus, a harmonious order is being established in Kazakhstan in which power is not concentrated on a single person. Because Mr. Tokayev, who showed a very democratic will to give up some of his powers, is the main architect of the construction process of New and Fair Kazakhstan. It can be stated that this situation will accelerate the development of the country and make the “The State That Hears the Voice of the People” model more effective.

[1] “State-of-the-Nation Address by President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev”, Official Website of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan,, (Date of Accession: 21.03.2023).

[2] Perizat Risbekkızı, “Referendum and Period of New Kazakhstan”, ANKASAM,, (Date of Accession: 21.03.2023).

[3] “Kazakh Leader Calls Snap Presidential Election on 20 November”, EURACTIV,, (Date of Accession: 21.03.2023).

[4] “Tokayev Wins 2022 Presidential Election, According to Final Results of Central Election Commission”, The Astana Times,, (Date of Accession: 21.03.2023).

[5] “Statement by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Calling Early Election to the Mazhilis of the Parliament and Maslikhats”, Official Website of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan,, (Date of Accession: 21.03.2023).

[6] “Central Election Commission Announces Preliminary Election Results: Six Parties Elected to Parliament”, The Astana Times,, (Date of Accession: 21.03.2023).

Dr. Emrah KAYA
ANKASAM Dış Politika Uzmanı Dr. Emrah Kaya, Akdeniz Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden mezundur. Yüksek lisans derecesini 2014 yılında Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nde hazırladığı “Latin Amerika'da Sol Liderlerin Yükselişi ve Uluslararası Politikaya Etkisi: Venezuela-Bolivya Örneği” başlıklı teziyle almıştır. Kaya, doktora derecesini de 2022 yılında aynı üniversitede hazırladığı "Terörle Mücadelede Müzakere Yöntemi: ETA-FARC-LTTE-PKK" başlıklı teziyle elde etmiştir. İyi derecede İngilizce bilen Kaya'nın başlıca çalışma alanları; Orta Asya, Latin Amerika, terörizm ve barış süreçleridir.