Reforms will set political agenda in Kazakhstan, State Counsellor says

The political agenda for 2023 will be determined by the vector of political reforms set by the Kazakh President, the country’s State Counsellor Erlan Karin wrote in a post on his Telegram channel. First of all, it concerns the further implementation of the outcome of the Constitutional Referendum.

“An entirely new institution, the Constitutional Court, has started its work since the beginning of the year. It includes a new system of protecting the fundamental rights of citizens, along with new constitutional status of the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Prosecutor General’s Office and the establishment of a new position of Ombudsman for the Support of Socially Vulnerable Populations. In addition, some new amendments to electoral legislation and the electoral system have come into force since January 1. There also begins the process of founding single-member districts and corresponding electoral commissions. Members of territorial electoral commissions will now serve on a permanent basis. This will improve the quality of electoral procedures,” Karin said.

The new electoral cycle will continue, the country’s State Counsellor noted. Senate elections are scheduled for January 14. Apart from that, early elections to Kazakh Mazhilis and Maslikhats (local representative bodies) of all levels will be held in the first half of the year. The future electoral campaign will be conducted in accordance with the new rules, Karin emphasized. In addition, from 2023, direct elections of mayors of districts and cities of regional significance will be held in a pilot mode. The renewal of the corps of village mayors is set to continue. These elections will cover over 1,000 rural settlements.