Factsheet on the Proposed Constitutional Reform (01.02.2016)


President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed a constitutional reform aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan. During a special televised address to the nation on 25 January, the President announced a number of functions that would be transferred either to the Government or Parliament. Public discussions on the proposed constitutional reforms will take place for the next month, concluding on 26 February. After this, the reforms will be presented to Parliament.


The objectives of the proposed reform

·        President Nazarbayev said the point of the proposed reform was to create “a serious redistribution of powers and democratisation of the political system as a whole”. It will substantially contribute to Kazakhstan’s democratic development

·        The proposed reform will strengthen the control of the legislature over the executive

·        The reform is aimed at improving the efficiency of the public administration system and stability of the political system

·        Increasing the role of the Government and Parliament will provide a more effective mechanism of response to modern challenges

·        The reform will ensure that all branches of Government work effectively and responsibly and will create an appropriate system of checks and balances

·        The proposed reform meets Kazakhstan’s long-term development objectives, including the five institutional reforms and the aim to join the top 30 most developed countries in the world by 2050


Summary of the proposed reform


Approximately 40 functions would be transferred either to the Government or Parliament through relevant laws. More importantly, numerous changes will require amending the Constitution. These may include:


New parliamentary powers

·        Parliament will be empowered to negotiate the Government’s structure with the President

·        Parliaments control over the Government would be increased by simplifying the procedure of holding a “vote of no confidence” on a sitting Cabinet.

·        Parliament will be granted greater authority over local government


New Government powers

·        Government Ministers would have more power and responsibilities to manage social and economic development in Kazakhstan

·        The approval of state programmes will be transferred to the Government


The role of the President

·        The role of the President – who will focus mainly on strategic matters, foreign policy and national security – will be that of a “supreme arbiter” in relations between the different branches of Government


The President’s full address to the nation can be read here (in English)

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