PRESIDENT’S WEEK 27

27 February 2017

            Meeting with the Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin

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Almaty city

During the meeting the Presidents of Kazakhstan and Russia have deliberated the matters of bilateral cooperation and brought up the key issues of the international agenda.

The Head of State stressed the special nature of relations between Kazakhstan and Russia, noting the high degree of trust and understanding between the two countries.

– This year marks 25 years since diplomatic relations’ establishment between us. Thanks to the close cooperation we have established the Eurasian Economic Union. I think this is important, and at the same time it is the promising formation for all of its participants. Today, more than 7000 Russian companies are presented in our country, and they contribute to the creation of a new processing industry. Your visit to Kazakhstan last autumn and the meeting in St. Petersburg in the framework of the EAEC have allowed to sign 41 contracts worth 3 billion US dollars, President of Kazakhstan said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that Kazakhstan and Russia keep to one position on the international agenda and in the UN Security Council they will be fully committed to achieving common objectives.

– Russia is implementing measures in dealing with the topical international issues, including the Syrian conflict settlement. It was Russia to propose holding several rounds of talks in Astana. The process has started. In general, a series of meetings throughout the year shall be organized to address these and other issues, in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on June 8 in Astana as well. All current issues are settled with a friendly spirit. Let us move forward, creating joint ventures, the Head of State concluded.

In turn, Vladimir Putin thanked the President of Kazakhstan for organizing the Astana talks to resolve the conflict in Syria.

– I know that Kazakhstan has played a positive role in this process not only as an organizer. You have personally been the party to the organization of meetings, working with their participants and delegates. Thanks to you are the results, which have never been achieved before. Namely, the established mechanism of control over the ceasefire, and it’s the most important thing. This is the foundation for further negotiations in Geneva, the President of Russia said to the Head of our State.

Vladimir Putin noted Kazakhstan’s significance as one of the key economic partners of Russia, stressing the need to increase the volume and output of cooperation on sustainable growth by means of the established conditions in the course of the integration process.

The President of Russia expressed hope for Kazakhstan’s support as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in dealing with global issues.

At the end of the meeting the sides discussed further aspects of the Eurasian integration and the cooperation prospects in the economic sphere.

1 March 2017

Participation in the meeting of the Working Group on reauthorization between governmental branches

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The Head of State noted that the Working Group had carried out extensive work on collecting, processing, analyzing and discussing the proposals on the draft constitutional reform submitted for public discussion.

– I have made a decision, using my constitutional right, to amend the Basic Law by discussion process in the Parliament, without submitting it for referendum, the President of Kazakhstan said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that all changes give a special impetus to the country’s progress, and that is a significant step.

– It should be emphasized that we maintain our Kazakhstani political model, a presidential republic. Public administration system in accordance with the necessities of the times must be flexible. As the reform result the powers will be transferred from one branch to another, the supervising function of the representative bodies over the Cabinet and the executive bodies will redouble, aimed at both their professionalization, and approval of the people’s rule principle. We are faced with determining fate of the important document for the future, totaling all the pluses of the public discussion, and setting a date of submitting it to the Parliament. It has been established that the changes have been made to the Constitution’s 23 Articles and 35 amendments to the Laws. The main point of making amendments is redistribution of a number of presidential powers to other branches of government, the President said.

The Kazakh President has drawn the attention those present to the factor of successfulness of the presidential governance model through which the country has become recognized in the world community; the welfare of citizens has increased and methodical work on further improvement is being conducted.

– According to five institutional reforms implemented in the country and the new Address to the Nation the political system of our country requires a certain transformation, Nursultan Nazarbayev concluded.

The Working Group leader reported on the preparation of proposals for redistribution of powers between branches of government, which are provided as a change to the Constitution and to the country’s laws.

– The Working Group members have recorded all opinions, questions and suggestions that were received during the public discussion.  The Presidential Administration has reserved special e-mail addresses where anyone could send their materials. Citizens showed high activity in discussing the proposed reforms. Proposals came from all regions and virtually all population groups; different ideas have been sent by scientists, lawyers, community leaders and the business community. A large number of proposals were received during the last days of discussion. All that testifies to the correctness of your decision to discuss constitutional reform in society, A.Dzhaksybekov said.

The Head of the Presidential Administration has also said that more than 6 thousand proposals have been received from the citizens affecting the Constitution’s 63 Articles, which include all sections of the Basic Law.

– Proposals are diversified and not limited only to the draft of regulations submitted for public discussion. They all were schematized into several blocks. More than 40 proposals were received for the section that defines the Head of State’s status and powers. Despite the fact that the reform is aimed at redistribution of the President’s powers in favor of their transfer to other branches of government, in many respects, the proposals were aimed at strengthening the Head of State’s powers. With regard to the Parliament’s powers 88 proposals have been received as a whole to support initiatives to strengthen the Parliament’s part in the Cabinet formation. In particular, they are proposals concerning transition to a parliamentary republic, unicameral Parliament, and the election of deputies based on a majority system. Strengthening the requirements for deputies by limiting the run more than once and the age limit increase are suggested, the Working Group’s  head informed.

In addition, A.Dzhaksybekov highlighted the proposals on the Government’s status and activities in strengthening its accountability to Parliament. Among them is consolidation of the mandatory approval by the Majilis of the entire Cabinet and its accountability not only to the Majilis, but to the Parliament as a whole.

In conclusion of his speech, the Head of the Presidential Administration specified those proposals that are aimed at changing the order of the Constitutional Council formation and its conversion to the Constitutional Court. It was reported that the highest number of proposals have been received concerning the authority of law enforcement and the judicial unit.

The Head of State pointed out that the wide nature of the opinions and proposals, received from citizens, is the evidence of gaps and shortcomings in our work that need to be addressed in future work.

All the Working Group members spoke at the meeting. In particular, the amendments to Article 26 of the current Constitution of Kazakhstan regarding the property rights have been given consideration. The Working Group members voiced different proposed changes to the specified rate.

In turn, Nursultan Nazarbayev said about making no changes to Article 26, taking into account the views of Kazakhstan’s citizen, and noted the need for further measures to improve the legislation and clarify its basic provisions.

At the same time, the Working Group members informed the Head of State of the concerns of the majority of citizens of certain powers redistribution process, noting the need for maintaining strong presidential vertical.

In conclusion, Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed once again the forthcoming reforms’ significance and relevance, focusing on the high activity of citizens when discussing the proposed amendments.

– The proposed changes in the state system are for further strengthening our society’s democratization, the foundations of democracy, the role of Parliament strengthening, the autonomy increase and the Cabinet responsibility under the presidential form of government. That’s the bottom line of the reforms. Constitutional framework of law enforcement and the judicial system shall be modernized and the system of constitutional control shall be improved. Guarantees of immutability of our constitutional system  are getting strengthened. In the near future the draft amendments to the Constitution will be submitted to Parliament for discussion, the President of Kazakhstan said.

The President, summing up the meeting, expressed his gratitude to all the members of the Working Group for their fruitful and far reaching historical work.

3 March 2017

Participation in the joint meeting of Kazakhstan’s Parliament Chambers

The President, speaking before the Parliament members, highlighted the key factors and aspects of political reform undertaken by amending the Constitution of Kazakhstan.

Nursultan Nazarbayev has particularly settled upon the process of preparing a draft of proposed amendments to the country’s main law, noting openness and transparency of the discussion process.

– By the President’s Decree the developed constitutional reform project was submitted to the national debate, which took place very intensively for a month. Each one had a good run. We have all observed that the bill’s discussion was not only of large scale, but also qualitatively deep, the President of Kazakhstan said.

The President also announced the results of the Working Group’s activity, pointing to the ambiguous understanding of the amendments to the Constitution’s Article 26 by a separate part of the population.

– The Working Group has received 6000 proposals that affect two thirds of the Constitution’s Articles and all of its partitions. All constitutional reform is aimed at consolidating our society. I therefore propose to leave Article 26 in the previous version. Given the national debate, it could be argued that the bill is a consolidated position of Kazakhstan’s nation. The people made the statement and thus supported the government’s modernization, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

The President of Kazakhstan placed a greater focus on the individual stages of the country’ political modernization highlighting the current reforms’ peculiarity.

– First, the new law significantly strengthens the Parliament’s role in public affairs, including the Government’s formation. Second, the Government’s independence grows, which is transferred the powers of close economic control. Third, the constitutional basis of law enforcement and judicial systems is modernized. The basic foundations of the Prosecutor’s Office are laid, providing the highest supervision over the rule of law observance and representation of state interests in court. Fourth, the system of constitutional review is strengthening. Fifth, the immutability guarantees of our independence, unitary property, territorial integrity and the form of government are secured at the constitutional level, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

The Head of State noted the high professionalism of all branches of power, emphasizing their ability to take responsibility and make decisions independently.

In addition, Kazakhstan’s President assured everybody of preserving the presidential form of government, and the reforms’ focus on creating political conditions for further modernization of the state and society.

– New challenges in the Address place special responsibility on the legislative and executive bodies. I am sure that broadening the Parliament and the Government’s powers shall contribute to more effective achieving the objectives of the economic third modernization, the President said.

In conclusion, Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed to the Parliament members with a request to give consideration to the legislative proposals in compliance with all established procedures.

The Head of State was followed by A.Dzhaksybekov, the Head of the Presidential Administration – Head of the Working Group on redistribution of powers between branches of government, who presented the detailed design of the proposed amendments to the Parliament deputies.