News ID: 322072
Published: 0301 GMT June 05, 2022

Kazakhstan holds referendum to amend Constitution

Kazakhstan holds referendum to amend Constitution

A voter casts her ballot during a constitutional referendum at a polling station in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on June 5, 2022.

Kazakhstan held a referendum to overhaul the Constitution, as the Central Asian nation’s leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev aims to reform the political system after three-decade rule by founding leader Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The constitutional reform is part of a drive for a New Kazakhstan” spearheaded by Tokayev, who was hand-picked by Nazarbayev to replace him as president in 2019, Al Jazeera reported.

It moves to decentralise decision-making and allow greater representation of various groups in parliament, as well as preventing relatives of the president from holding government positions.

Tokayev has described the vote as a shift from super-presidential” rule that will strengthen parliament a do away with Nazarbayevs privileges, including the constitutional title of Elbasy, or Leader of the Nation.

We are … laying the foundation for the Second Republic,” Tokayev said, addressing the nation on the eve of the vote.

The referendum, which amends one-third of the current Constitution that was accepted by the popular vote in 1995, is likely to give 69-year-old Tokayev the political capital to run for a second term without the backing of Nazarbayev.

The new president fully emerged as an independent figure this year, after subverting an attempted coup in January and removing Nazarbayev and his relatives from key positions in the government.




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