Reform Process and Constitutional Referendum in Kazakhstan

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The President of Kazakhstan, Mr. Kasym-Jomart Tokayev, is taking steps towards democratization by making decisive reforms in his country. In this context, a budget of 16.5 billion tenge was allocated for the referendum to be held on June 5, 2022 to amend the Constitution of Kazakhstan. The reform package in question was prepared by a working group established under the leadership of Mr. Tokayev. With this constitutional amendment, Kazakhstan will move away from the “Super Presidency” model and move to a “Presidential System” based on a strong parliament. As it is known, the Constitution of Kazakhstan, which was adopted in 1995, gives broad powers to the President; limited the influence of parliament. On the other hand, the President of Kazakhstan, Mr. Tokayev, believes in a strong parliament in terms of the political system. The fact that Mr. Tokayev was a diplomat here was also very important in terms of his familiarity with the systems in the world. In this sense, the Kazakh leader wants to create a modern future in line with his past experiences, and therefore he carries out reforms that reveal that he is a modern statesman. Mr. Tokayev’s swift and decisive action on reforms stems from the “Tragic January Events” that broke out in the first days of 2022. As it is known, the developments in the said period revealed that Kazakhstan needed radical political reforms. In this context, when we look at the regulations in the reform package, it is seen that the President’s powers will be limited, the President will be impartial, the President’s close relatives will not be allowed to work in state duties, and the dismissal of the Mayors will be prevented. In addition, strengthening the parliament and facilitating the establishment of opposition parties are also on the agenda. In addition, 70% of the deputies are from political party lists; 30% will be elected by direct voting. The Constitutional Court, which operated in the country until 1995, will be re-established.

“As a result, Kazakhstan is rapidly progressing towards the “Second Republic” period under the leadership of Mr. Tokayev. In this process, it can be said that the “New Kazakhstan” will take democratization breakthroughs by taking Western democracies as an example. This will increase the prestige of the “New Kazakhstan” in the international community. This will make Kazakhstan a much more reliable country for foreign investors. As a result, employment in the country will increase. Therefore, the reforms implemented by Mr. Tokayev will not be limited to democratization only. Because the reforms promise a much more prosperous future to the Kazakh people.”.

Azerbaycan Cumhuriyeti Dışişleri Bakanlığı'na bağlı ADA Üniversitesi'nin Uluslararası İlişkiler bölümünde (2013-2018) lisansını yapan Kenan AĞAZADE, değişim programıyla Büyük Britanya'daki Glasgow Üniversitesi'nde okumuştur (2016-2017). Yüksek lisansını Küresel Politika ve Toplumsal Değişim alanında (2018-2020) İsveç'teki Malmö Üniversitesi'nden tamamlayan Kenan AĞAZADE, İsveç'te Rusya ve Kafkasya Bölgesel Araştırma Merkezi'nde (2019-2020) araştırma görevlisi olarak çalışmıştır. İyi derecede Rusça, İngilizce ve İsveççe bilmektedir.