0755 GMT May 07, 2021
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted that prior to the start of the election campaign, measures were taken for political modernization, development of a multiparty system and expansion of civic participation in the social and political life of the country, according to a press release obtained by Iran Daily from Kazakhstan’s Embassy in Tehran.
According to experts, the 2021 election will be held in a new way. Firstly, the parliamentary election will not be held early. Secondly, it will be held in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Thirdly, the upcoming election will be held in accordance with the new amendments to the electoral legislation.
The Mazhilis consists of 107 members of whom 98 are elected by a proportional electoral system according to party lists and nine are independent non-party members elected by the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan.
At present, the Mazhilis consists of representatives of three political parties: Nur Otan, People's Party of Kazakhstan (former Communist Party) and Ak Zhol.
A total of six political parties have been registered in Kazakhstan: 1. The ruling party ‘Nur Otan’, 2. ‘Ak Zhol’ Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, 3. People's Party of Kazakhstan (former Communist Party), 4. ‘Auyl’ People's Democratic Party, 5. ‘Adal’ Party and 6. National Social Democratic Party (NSDP).
According to the Law on Elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan, a citizen of at least 25 years old who has permanently resided in the country for the last 10 years can be a member of the Parliament.
In his address to the people of the country on the appointment of the election, the Kazakh president explained the amendments made to the election legislation:
The first is the introduction of the institution of parliamentary opposition. Now, one chairman and two secretaries of the standing committees of the Mazhilis will be elected among the members of the parliamentary opposition.
The parliamentary opposition is empowered to initiate parliamentary hearings at least once during one session, as well as to determine the agenda of meetings with government at least twice during one session. At the same time, the leaders of factions of political parties are provided with a guaranteed right to speak for: Joint sessions of the chambers of Parliament, plenary sessions of the Mazhilis, meetings of the standing committees, meetings of working groups, parliamentary hearings and other events.
The second amendment is that the Constitutional Law on Elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Law on Political Parties provide provisions introducing a 30 percent quota in party lists for women and youths for the first time in the country’s parliamentary practice.
The third major innovation is that the upcoming Maslikhat (Local Councils) election will be held for the first time on party lists.
Tokayev stressed that “during this difficult time, Kazakhstan faces the task of adopting effective anti-crisis measures, ensuring sustainable economic development and social well-being of our citizens and increasing the well-being of the people”.
These priorities were formulated in Tokayev’s message to the people of Kazakhstan.
The updated composition of the Parliament and local representative bodies will focus on high-quality legislative support for socioeconomic reforms in the country.
Kazakhstan’s Minister of Health Aleksey Tsoi said protective health measures will be taken during the election to control the coronavirus spread including social distancing, wearing face masks and disinfecting polling stations.
Overall, the upcoming election is expected to once again demonstrate Kazakhstan's strong commitment to consistent democratization and modernization of its political institutions.