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The historic nature of the referendum

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For the first time in 27 years, Kazakhstan is holding a referendum. Citizens are expressing their opinions on amendments to the Constitution. This is a unique moment in the history of our country. Kazakhstanis are used to going to the polls to vote in parliamentary or presidential elections. However, today is the first time for many voters to participate in a referendum.

A referendum allows us to directly learn the opinion of citizens on important national issues. Referendum is an element of direct democracy, and today the citizens of Kazakhstan, by voting at polling stations, directly influence the formation of state policy.

Public organizations and active citizens ensure transparency and transparency of the voting process at the polling stations. The observation process is underway to prevent any form of campaigning at the polling stations. The Central Election Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan informs regularly about the voter turnout. A high interest in the referendum has been observed on the part of Kazakhstan’s public and international audience.

In general, a window of opportunity for the people of Kazakhstan is now opening for involvement in public politics. Participation in the referendum – this is the first step for the citizens of Kazakhstan to express their opinions on national issues. We can already see how the political culture of citizens is gradually strengthening in Kazakhstan.

Amid the political and economic turbulence observed on a global scale, today’s referendum consolidates Kazakhstani society. Whole families can be seen at the polling stations, and people take commemorative pictures. All this signals an increase in the civic activity of Kazakhstani citizens.

Slyamzhar AKHMETZHAROV,

 Senior Research fellow of KazISS under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

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