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Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies

under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Address of the President to the people of Kazakhstan

Third Modernization of Kazakhstan

"Only those nations who manage to set the future goals and proceed resolutely facing the challenges,

instead of sitting on the hedge and waiting, are the winners."

The 20th Anniversary of Constitution of Kazakhstan: New Horizons for Development

Constitution defines a nation in terms of the structure of government, relationship between institutions and forms it around these institutions. Constitution reveals the aspirations and hopes of nation building. The attitude of the nation to its Constitution defines its development.

For example, the Republic of South Africa (RSA) proclaimed itself a the "rainbow nation". The Constitution bears national history of struggle against apartheid. Therefore, the South African Constitution recognizes the injustice of the past, honors those who suffered in the struggle for justice and freedom, and unites all people of the RSA on the basis of the principle of "unity in diversity".

In the UK, there is no a single document that would be considered the Constitution; so-called "unwritten constitution" is in the use in the country. Hard-won political and civil freedoms from once all-powerful monarchy are protected today by the common law and a deep respect for tradition.

In the USA, the candidates for a member of the Supreme Court are asked by the Judicial Committee of the US Senate in the course of hearings on the approval whether he or she believes in a "living Constitution" .

Today, according to judges, the Constitution of the USA a "living, breathing document" implying the flexibility of its text and the possibility of amendments. The document became the first written principle law in 1787. The famous Declaration of the Rights of the Man and the Citizen was adopted in France only two years later.  

American history demonstrates the unique attitude of the citizens to the US to their Constitution: the phrase "we, the people of the United States" really brings to the American the sense of pride and respect as well as the need for the execution of law. The affirmation of a society of equal opportunities contributed to the strengthening of the statehood, stability and prosperity of the nation.

This year, Kazakhstan marks 20 years since the adoption the Constitution of the Republic. Over these two decades, Kazakhstan has been able to establish itself as one of the most active participants on the world stage.

The successful chairmanship in the OSCE and OIC as well as in such regional organizations as the SCO, CSTO and CIS, as well as its anti-nuclear and "green" initiatives not only contribute into global security but also prove the international place of Kazakhstan as an established state.

Today, Kazakhstan faces a new task to enter the club of the 30 most developed nations by 2050. The national model of development was worked out to achieve the goal and has already fully justified itself. Strong social policy, social stability and ethnic harmony are the foundation of the modern nation of Kazakhstan.

The fundamental principles defined in the Constitution are "public accord and political stability, economic development that shall benefit all people, patriotism, and democratic means for solving all matters within the state”.

It is important to bear in mind that the first Constitution of independent Kazakhstan was adopted in 1993 in the conditions of crisis after the collapse of the USSR. However, its adoption helped to lay down the foundations of the statehood: the institution of the presidency was formed; the president was deemed responsible for running the executive branch.

The adoption of the first Constitution enabled Kazakhstan to participate in the global community: the commitment to international norms and desire to create a democratic state with rule of law were proclaimed. The Constitution enshrined ethnic harmony, equal rights, freedom and responsibilities.

Taking into account the conditions of the early 1990s, the tasks of development of the country, need of profound transformation and reforms, it was necessary to carry out the modernization in both economic and political spheres. The Constitution of 1993 became a starting point for further development of Kazakhstan and the key element of its statehood.

The draft worked out by the Constitutional Commission made the three branches of the government more balanced, the system of checks and balances was introduced.

Interestingl,y the 1993 Constitution did not contain the definitions of such terms as "social harmony" and "political stability", "economic development for the benefit of the people", "Kazakhstan patriotism", "voting at the Republican referendum". The state policy was characterized by uncertainty without giving a possibility for their strategic use. Later these concepts were introduced into the Constitution of 1995.

The novelty of the Constitution of 1995 was in elevation of the institution of the presidency to the role of the symbol and guarantor of unity of the nation of Kazakhstan (in the text of the main law of 1993 the presidency was exclusively within the executive power.

Since the mid-1990s, a bicameral Parliament has been functioning in the country as the main legislative body. The trend for stronger parliamentarism in Kazakhstan has been part of enhancing of the legislative and control functions of the Parliament according to the amendments made in 1998 and 1999.

the constitutional reform of 2007 was the milestone development of Kazakhstan’s nation it started the formation of a multiparty system and strengthened the parliamentary system. On May 21, 2007 the both houses of the Parliament voted in support of the initiative of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev on the amendments to the Constitution stipulating the transfer of the part of presidential powers to the legislative branch:

- the Parliament was enpowered to form and control the Government, the Central Election Commission (CEC), the Statistical Committee and to appoint the two-thirds of the Constitutional Court judges;

-  the government was accountable to the Parliament;

The decision was made to decentralize and strengthen the role of the local governments and the elections of the akims. The new law "On political parties" was passed in 2002.

Ultimately, all these changes and additions to the Constitution enabled the nation to undergo a smooth transition from a presidential to a presidential-parliamentary republic.

On June 15, 2010, the draft constitutional law of Kazakhstan "On amendments and additions to some constitutional laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan on improvement of on the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - the Leader of the Nation" was published by all media throughout the country.

Some new amendments were made in February 2011 to hold early presidential elections in Kazakhstan on the initiative of the People’s Assembly of Kazakhstan. on April 26, 2015 the early presidential elections took where the people of Kazakhstan handed a new mandate of trust to the Leader of the Nation.

The current tasks Kazakhstan faces are national consolidation and strengthing the unity of the people. The presidential elections, in fact, have been of historical importance meaning that the citizens consciously made an informed choice. Policies and reforms undertaken by Nursultan Nazarbayev have been widely supported in the country.

However, the global turbulence and new challenges actualized the need to further national consolidation, thus, Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed the five institutional reforms in the key development directions.

In this context, a special attention should be paid to the second and fifth reforms, aimed at providing the rule of law and formation of the transparent and accountable state.

Under Article 14 of the Constitution all are equal before the law and courts. No one may be subjected to any discrimination as for their origin, social and property status, sex, race, nationality, language, religion, place of residence or any other circumstances.

Accordingly, a new procedure of electing local executive bodies has been actualized, the constitutional reform is to be conducted aimed at the redistribution of powers strengthening the Government and the Parliament.

As for the rule of law, President of Kazakhstan in his address to the Nation of 17 January 2014 [8] emphasized the need a more fair and competitive justice, rule of law and higher legal culture."

According to "100 Precise Steps to Implement the Five Institutional Reforms Nation Plan articulated by President Nazarbayev, the task of transition to three-level justice system has been set as well as trial by jury, audio/video recording of court hearing, the requirements for the selection of candidates for judicial posts has been strengthened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key components of the strategy for further development of Kazakhstan are welfare of people, establishment of the rule of law and transparent/accountable state. Better legal awareness and responsibility of citizens and the state will certainly increase the level of trust and mutually beneficial partnership between the civil society and government. strict adherence to the values and norms prescribed in the Constitution shall enable Kazakhstan to meet the goal of comprehensive modernization.

Cultural development is a necessarily and integral component of social modernization that will have a dominant influence on the formation of modern Kazakhstan. Therefore, in the context of the new industrial innovation of the economy, it is necessary to provide all public goods under the principles of law and justice. Therefore, President Nazarbayev has repeatedly endorsed his vision in his article "Social modernization of Kazakhstan: 20 steps towards society of universal labor" and later in his "100 Steps” National Plan.

The transition to a new society of universal labor, full-scale integration into the world community, ensuring the continuation of a welfare state cannot be achieved without a rapid development of culture and accommodation of democratic principles and values. In this regard, the “Mangylic El” Patriotic Act shall enable Kazakhstan to achieve its goals in the following areas:

- national unity;

- peace and harmony;

- stability and tolerance;

- secular society and high spirituality;

- economic growth and industrialization on the basis of a society of universal labor;

- rejection of paternalism;

- increased responsibility of each citizen.

Kazakhstan already has a unique experience and been extremely successful in maintenance of interethnic and interreligious harmony. The implementation of its strategic goals based on the principles and provisions of its Constitution is crucially important.