Almaty [Kazakhstan], April 29 (ANI): President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Friday suggested holding a referendum on the issue of amending the country's basic law to modernize and democratize its political system.
"When these reforms were proposed, we thought that the draft amendments to the constitution would be considered by the parliament," Tokayev told a meeting of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan.
"This is one of the procedures established by the current legislation. However, the upcoming large-scale and significant changes will have a significant impact on the future of the country. Therefore, I propose to hold a republican referendum on amendments to the constitution," he was
This comes a few days after Tokayev approved the National Action Plan to implement the reforms promised in his March 16 state of the nation address "New Kazakhstan: The Path of Renewal and Modernization".
Proposing Constitutional reforms to limit the powers of his office, Tokayev last month had said the Central Asian Country needs to switch from "super presidential" rule to political modernization with a focus on the role of citizens in governing the state, including through electoral processes.
With an aim to create "New Kazakhstan", Tokayev had presented a programme of comprehensive modernization based on what he described as long-standing public demand for radical changes.
The plan, approved by the March 29 presidential decree, not only sets concrete deadlines for implementing the reforms through various legal acts but also defines clear responsibilities of state bodies for meeting those deadlines.
Kazakhstan Embassy said in a release that the plan covers ten key areas, which were initially outlined in the address. They comprise limiting the powers of the President, including termination of his/her membership in a political party for the period of their term of office, prohibition for close relatives of the President to hold senior positions of political civil servants and senior positions at the quasi-public sector, etc.
Another major area is improving the electoral system, which includes switching to a mixed electoral system. Changes to the legislation will also be made to expand opportunities for the development of the party system in the country, including simplifying registration procedures for political parties.
Amendments will also be made to the Constitution to modernize and improve the electoral process. (ANI)