Disabled People in Kazakhstan Will Take Seats in the Country’s Parliament

Women, youth, and people with special needs should be counted as 30% of political party lists prepared for elections on any level

Disabled people in Kazakhstan will be provided with a quota in Mazhilis, a lower chamber of the country’s parliament. These changes are part of the new law on political parties that is under consideration by lawmakers.

According to the draft law, the current law on political parties must be amended when it comes to party lists.  In addition to women and people under the age of 29, the government wants to add disabled people.

“Nuances of the nomination of candidates from a political party for deputies of the Mazhilis of the parliament and Maslikhat [local legislative assembly]. 1. While a political party is preparing a party list of candidates for deputies of the Mazhilis of the parliament, this list must include representatives of three categories: women, persons under the age of 29, and persons with special needs in the amount of at least 30% of the total number of candidates. 2. While a political party is preparing a party list of candidates for deputies of a local legislative assembly [Maslikhat], this list must include representatives of three categories: women, persons under the age of 29, and persons with special needs in the amount of at least 30% of the total number of candidates, “says the draft law.

As the Minister of Justice Marat Beketayev wrote in the explanatory note, the amendments have been initiated by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who came up with the idea to add to the law people with special needs in his national address on September 1, 2021.

The rationale of the draft law is that the mandatory quota for women and youth must be expanded to include a quota for people with special needs. Once the law is adopted, disabled people will participate in the distribution of deputy seats in the regional and national legislative bodies.

Moreover, the draft law requires amendments to the Constitutional law on elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

While collecting documents needed to apply for registration of a person as a candidate for deputy of the Mazhilis, candidates with special needs will be able to obtain documented proof they are disabled from a local center of the social protection of the population. Moreover, all political parties will be obligated to provide at least 30% of their deputy mandates not only to women and people under the age of 29, but also to people with special needs.
 

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