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The results of the referendum were discussed at the expert platform “KazISS GPS”

The referendum marked the beginning of the construction of the legislative base of the Second Republic. The large-scale program of political reforms of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan K.K. Tokayev is being systematically implemented. The citizens supported the course of the Head of the state on political modernization, which is confirmed by the preliminary data of the CEC, where 77.18% of voters voted for the construction of Kazakhstan at the nationwide referendum.

According to the data of exit-poll, from 74,8% to 79,4% of Kazakhstani people supported the constitutional amendments. The referendum is considered valid, there is a quorum for the adoption of the constitutional amendments.

In order to summarize the results of the referendum, the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the RK held a meeting of the national expert platform “KИСИ GPS”(KazISS GPS) on the topic: “The New Political Reality: Results of Referendum 2022” at the SCC.

In his speech, Yerkin Tukumov, director of KazISS, noted that the results of the KazISS sociological survey coincided with the results of the referendum.

“According to the Central Election Commission, 68.06% of Kazakhstani people participated in the referendum (sixty-eight percent). In early May, the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies conducted a telephone survey of 1,200 respondents. According to the survey, 66.4% (sixty-six percent) were willing to participate in the referendum. As you can see, our forecast is almost similar to today’s result.

The referendum was a historic act of unity and cohesion of the people of Kazakhstan. Once again, we have shown the firmness of our intentions to live in peace and harmony. The high turnout of citizens and exit poll data from three companies are proof of a new level of consolidation of our citizens. In general, we can state that on June 5 the people of Kazakhstan fully exercised their constitutional right to vote, determining the future fate of our country.

The referendum created a solid foundation for the further implementation of President Tokayev’s ambitious political reform program. In the very near future, we will have to revise the existing constitutional laws and adopt more than 20 new laws. The stability of the country in the global world depends on how effective the new model of state administration will be”, – noted the head of the Institute.

Lyazzat Suleimen, a member of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, noted that the popular vote reflected the attitude of citizens to the reforms. “Deputies of the Parliament during the month carried out active information work in the regions. During meetings with voters, we saw the interest of citizens in the constitutional amendments. The civic activity and political culture of the people made it possible to hold a referendum within the limits of the law. The popular vote really reflected citizens’ attitudes toward the reforms. Despite alternative and critical views, the constitutional reforms were adopted because they meet the urgent needs of society”, – said Lyazzat Suleimen.

According to Berik Abdigalyuly, a deputy of the Majilis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, after the introduction of amendments to the Constitution, the quality of work of the Parliament and Maslikhats will improve. “The referendum can be seen as a political initiative in our country.  Parliament is now facing a big job, we need to make all the changes and adopt new laws.  All the changes will be discussed in working groups, this process will take about 3-4 months. In general, I hope that by the end of the year we will have a number of laws together.  In the near future – after the amendments to the Constitution – there will be no doubt that the quality of work of the Parliament and maslikhats will improve”, – the Speaker said.

Deputy of the Majilis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, member of the Committee on International Affairs, Defense and Security Sayasat Nurbek believes that the results of the referendum showed the trust of Kazakhstan’s people to the authorities. “The holding of the referendum is important for the following reasons. First, the constitutional reforms were aimed at restoring the balance of powers and responsibilities of the branches of power. After the adoption of the constitutional amendments, the role of Parliament, in particular the Majilis, will increase. This will also be facilitated by the new mixed electoral system.

Second, this is the geopolitical situation, which requires a change of internal and external vectors of development. And we see that the referendum showed that, despite the difficult geopolitical situation, the people of Kazakhstan trust each other and trust the authorities.

It should be noted that the referendum is only the first step towards changes, now we have to work on bringing the legislation in line with the new Constitution”, – the deputy said.

Indira Aubakirova, a member of the Working Group on Amendments to the RK Constitution, emphasized the importance of constitutional culture. “It is necessary to increase our constitutional culture. This is the stumbling block that can level the value of the amendments. At the same time it is necessary to increase the executive, legal and political culture. The political will has been stated. Now the question depends on the whole society”, – says Indira Aubakirova.

As Talgat Kaliyev, director of the Institute of Applied Ethnopolitical Research, noted, the amendments meet the needs of a wide segment of the population in the regions. “I would like to note separately the data on the voting structure: it was distributed evenly across the regions, i.e., the regions voted more actively than the central cities. This indicates that the amendments meet the demands of a broad section of the population in the regions. There was a high turnout and level of approval of the amendments. Now we can say that the “ball” is on the side of society, and everything will depend on the extent to which the population will be ready to assume its civic responsibilities and show its civic engagement”, – said the expert.

Kazbek Maigeldinov, Director of the Kazakhstan Institute of Social Development, emphasized that in order to implement the upcoming reforms every citizen must be active. “Amending the Constitution is an innate demand on the part of society and the population. The demand is fulfilled, now the main thing is the attention of each citizen to responsibility. In order to implement the upcoming reforms, every citizen must be active. As Head of State K.K. Tokayev said, the referendum is only the beginning of reforms. The continuation of reforms is the practical implementation of the changes proposed in this referendum. The democratic way is participation of each citizen in each change. Secondly, the most important thing is that the head of state lays the foundation for broad public participation in public administration. When every citizen says that he or she participates in this public administration, he or she must necessarily bear responsibility”, – said Kazbek Maigeldinov.

Ramazan Sarpekovdirector of the Kazakhstan Institute of Legislation and Legal Information, believes the referendum results are due to the trusting relationship between the state and society. “The referendum demonstrates the level of mutual understanding between the state and the population. Within a month, considerable information work was carried out to explain the proposed amendments. According to my observations, the information was fully conveyed to the majority of the people of Kazakhstan. During the referendum, the population took an active part. This is evidenced by the level of turnout at the referendum. 70% is a high percentage. In general, everything was held at a high level. This is also noted by foreign observers. According to the official data, no gross violations were revealed during the voting. As a result of the referendum, all the amendments were accepted. And the positive results are due to the trusting relationship between the state and society. In the future, we must continue the qualitative changes already initiated in the New Republic. This is not a one-day job. Since the amendments of 33 articles have been proposed, which is 1/3 of the Constitution, there is further work to strengthen the Constitution. The main task is the formation of fair, just and equal relations in society. For this we must continue to work together”, – he said.

Sergey Udartsev, Doctor of Law, member of the Working Group on the development of proposals and amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, said that in accordance with the Message of the Head of State the amendments to the Constitution, which were approved, at the last stage were explained and clarified for a month. “There is a lot of work to be done to implement all these provisions. Now state bodies have to adopt about 20 laws, make amendments and create completely new ones”, – said Sergey Udartsev.

According to Andrey Chebotarev, director of the Center for Contemporary Research “Alternative”, civil society supports the vector of openness of Kazakhstan’s political system. “The constitutional reforms adopted through the referendum are part of the political reform program of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan K.K. Tokayev. Now we are moving towards an open political system, citizens can actively participate in political life, including electing and being elected. In turn, experts and civil society support the vector of openness of Kazakhstan’s political system. There is a lot of work ahead, and the expert community is ready to participate in the development of new mechanisms for the functioning of the public administration system”, – concluded the expert.