Democratic innovation: Kazakhstan to hold presidential elections

22.09.2022, 12:05

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev launched a full-scale electoral process in the country. The presidential nomination process will begin on September 23. There is a strict procedure, which includes the collection of signatures from voters, as well as the regulation defining which organizations can nominate candidates for president. According to the Law on elections, Kazakh citizens cannot nominate themselves for this post on their own.

“Candidates can run for election only from any national public association, including the political parties. Also, for example, we have the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs. There is also a civil alliance of Kazakhstan and various trade unions. Since they are registered as legal entities, they have full right to participate in presidential elections,” Urazgali Selteyev, political scientist and director of the Eurasian Integration Institute, said.

In one month, the Central Election Commission will officially announce the names of the candidates for the post of Head of State, after payment of the election fee and compliance check.

Presidential candidates of Kazakhstan

According to the Constitution of Kazakhstan, only a citizen of the country by birth who is at least 40 years old can run for president. He must be fluent in the state language, have higher education and five years of civil service experience. The candidate must have lived in the country for the last 15 years. However, there is an exception to the latter requirement.

“Those who stay abroad and carry out any assignments of the state, in fact, act on behalf of Kazakhstan, on behalf of the people of Kazakhstan. So, of course, exceptions are provided for such cases. In other words, their stay there is temporary. These people act only as citizens and officials of our country. If we try to understand the purpose of introducing this regulatory requirement, then it is clear that this is obligated by the very status of the first person of the state, which must consistently protect the interests of this country, and perhaps minimize the risks that may be associated with the influence of the other states` interests,” said member of the working group on constitutional amendments Indira Aubakirova.

All these requirements are stipulated in the constitutional law ‘On Elections’. There are also clauses that describe which citizens cannot run for president. The law does not limit the number of candidates. If less than two presidential candidates are nominated by the end of the registration period, the CEC shall extend the nomination period by no more than 20 days. Each candidate can withdraw his candidacy at any time, two days prior to the election.