18 May 2007
Secretary of State Kanat Saudabayev and Top Officials of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Held a Press Conference in the Akorda Presidential Palace.

Political evaluations were given at the press conference that concern the adoption of the Law “On making amendments and addendums to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan” in its second reading by the Parliament of Kazakhstan, which was introduced to consideration by the Head of State.

As the Secretary of State noted this is the most important event in the newest history of the country that opens a new stage in the development of our society.

"Of particular importance is the fact that these historic amendments to the Constitution are introduced in full accordance with the logic of Kazakhstan’s domestic development and are based on a solid foundation of social, economic and political reforms conducted since independence under President Nazarbayev’s outstanding leadership.

Implementation of these constitutional amendments will reinforce Kazakhstan’s economic achievements and its regional leadership in the political arena," Kanat Saudabayev emphasized.

The Secretary of State underscored that “today’s step is a sign of maturity of our society.”

"It accepted these changes. Our people trust their first President who has again reconfirmed his leadership, extraordinary thinking and strategic foresight as well as the courage of a statesman and a human being. This is a most rare historic example when a popular leader, with the support of 90 percent of the population, without any pressure from within or without, and at the top of his success, would share his power and relinquish part of his authority," Kanat Saudabayev said.

In the opinion of Kanat Saudabayev, by making the important addendum to the effect that the restriction saying that one person cannot be elected President of the Republic of Kazakhstan more than two times on end is not applicable to the first President of the Republic of Kazakhstan on their unanimously initiative the deputies of the supreme representative body of the republic have expressed the will of the people of Kazakhstan.

"This decision is recognition and a sign of respect and appreciation for Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s first president and the founder of our independent statehood.

Whether the first President uses this opportunity given him by the Parliament and the people is his right and privilege to decide.

In my turn, having witnessed the will, the courage and the wisdom of this man for many years, I am happy that he continues to be in remarkable intellectual and physical health and remains the driving force of the country’s development. If he chooses to use this opportunity, this will benefit our young independent nation," the Secretary of State noted.

Issues of introducing the proportional election system and its influence on the development of the political system of the country, state financing of political parties, representation of the Assembly of the people of Kazakhstan in the Parliament and other questions were broadly covered during the press conference.

As Deputy Head of the Administration of the President Maulen Ashimbayev said, the proportional election system would give a very strong impulse to the development of political parties in Kazakhstan and is more representative by its nature.

"While the majority election system acts according to the principle “the winner will get everything”, the proportional election system follows the principle “All socially significant political forces must be represented in Parliament”. In other words, the proportional election system grants the opportunity to be represented in the Parliament to all public political forces. It is possible to say that in our circumstances the representative election system would effective, because all political parties supported by people would have their deputies represented in Majilis (lower house) of the country’s Parliament," Maulen Ashimbayev said.

Answering a question related to the mechanism of state financing of political parties, Maulen Ashimbayev underscored that the matter concerns partial financing of political parties.

Nowadays, 53 countries worldwide practice the direct financing of political parties. Those are such democratic states as Great Britain, France, Italy, Australia and others. Fifty states apply the indirect financing of political parties. This includes tax relief and other preferences and exemptions and also an access to mass media.

"The state financing of political parties is required in order to ensure a greater independence of our parties, and it will be implemented for those parties that will be represented in Majilis of the Parliament on the results of the forthcoming elections. The issue of actual numbers and sums is under consideration now. Currently amendments to the legislation basis are being prepared, and they will be actively discussed in the Parliament. Obviously, there will be a linkage between the number of seats in the Parliament granted to a party and the number of votes that the party obtained," the Deputy Head of the Administration of the President noted.

Journalists were also interested in the mechanisms of elections to local representative bodies, maslikhats.

Deputy Head of the Administration of the President Onalsyn Zhumabekov noted issues of preparation, organization and conduction of elections have been excluded from the Constitution and will be regulated by the constitutional Law “On Elections”.

"It is planned to introduce the proportional election system only for deputies of Majilis of the Parliament. As far as local representative bodies, the maslikhats are concerned, the majority election system remains in place," Onalsyn Zhumabekov said.

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