IWEP experts give opinion on national referendum

03.05.2022, 17:26

A bold political move that reflects the country’s determination and consistency in implementing systemic democratic reforms – this is how the experts from the Institute of World Economics and Politics responded to President Tokayev’s proposal for a national referendum. This program, according to IWEP expert Arman Toktushakov, will strengthen the nation’s trust in the government and the state. Kazakhstan’s last referendum was held in 1995, and since then, revisions to the country’s basic law have been made without the popular vote.

“This is a common practice worldwide; in theory, it is enshrined in our Constitution, but it has never been employed before,” said Arman Toktushakov, expert of the Institute of World Economics and Politics.

President Tokayev declared the need to revise the country’s Basic Law in his address to the nation on March 16. A total of 56 amendments to 33 articles are expected to be made.

“The power of the President is being curtailed, while the roles of the parliament, the representative body and the local governments are being increased and expanded. An important amendment is that the citizens are now the owners of the land. Previously, according to the Constitution, the state was the owner of the property. Another significant initiative is the strengthening of the human rights bloc, which includes the reform of the constitutional council, the constitutional court, the strengthening of human rights powers, and a number of other changes,” added Toktushakov.

At the 31st session of the Kazakhstan Ethnic Assembly, the president announced that the referendum would allow every Kazakh citizen to “directly participate in deciding the country’s destiny”, solidify the course towards “all-round democratization" and take part in building the new Kazakhstan.

 

 

Translation by Anelya Kadyrova

Editing by Saniya Sakenova