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The New Political Era

On November 20, Kazakhstan will hold a special presidential election. This topic is now heatedly discussed both in the country itself and in the community of international experts in the field of politics.

When discussing the situation in Kazakhstan at one of the official meetings, they came to the conclusion that 2022 was a truly critical year for Kazakhstan: an attempted coup d’etat launched tectonic shifts along the whole circuit of power. All these events aroused great interest in the reforms on the part of the nation and high expectations from the key speech of the President – the annual Address.

Along with the multiple amendments to the Constitution, already adopted in the course of nationwide referendum, aimed at democratizing the system, the initiatives voiced by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in the Address, one may say, inspired the Kazakhstani people. Among the most loudly discussed is the limitation of the President’s mandate to 7 years without the right for re-election and, as a consequence, the extraordinary elections.

“Seven years is a sufficient period to implement any ambitious program. Limitation of the President’s mandate to one term will ensure the maximum focus of the Head of State on the solution of strategic tasks of national development,” noted the President, addressing the citizens of Kazakhstan.

The constitutional novelty proposed by him will significantly reduce the risks of power monopolization, which, as the practice has shown, leads to super-presidential authoritarian rule. 

The seven-year presidential term will allow implementing of large-scale changes in the democratic reforming of the political system of the country, namely, strengthening the principles of democracy, ensuring transparency, accountability, and increasing efficiency.

In addition, the time limit is a good motivator: each presidential candidate will carefully distribute all aspects of his/her activities over seven years, and during his/her only term the elected president will try to bring as much benefit to the country as possible.

The new presidential system will strengthen the political stability and sustainability of Kazakhstan’s model of social structure. It is true to say that in the case of the adoption of the one-time presidential norm, a new political epoch will start in Kazakhstan. As a result, by the middle of 2023 all major political institutions: the President, the Parliament, and the Government, will be rebooted and renewed.

Many argue that these elections will help to fully break Tokayev’s own ties with the ‘Old Kazakhstan’, to get the people’s support right now, and take a long time to implement all the reforms put forward – such a preventive measure for the impossibility of the revanchists’ return. At the same time, an early presidential election will strengthen political competition and will increase the number of political unions.

Already now, without exaggeration, we can say that the presidential election of 2022 will be an important historical event in the political life of Kazakhstan. At least because the ambitious goal of Tokayev – to build a Fair Kazakhstan with open competition and equal opportunities for everyone – is quite realistic now, when analyzing the changes that have occurred in the country.

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