President Tokayev calls for referendum in Kazakhstan

In order to adopt a set of amendments to the country’s Constitution

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan wants the amendments to the Constitution to be approved by the plebiscite. He’s made this statement today during the meeting of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan.

The president noted that the amendments are going to be applied to one-third of the Constitution. These amendments have already been sent to the Constitutional Council which has to review them.

Throughout the history of modern Kazakhstan, there was only one referendum in 1995, when the current Constitution was adopted.

“We have a constitutional law on a national referendum which has never been applied in practice even though the Constitution was amended four times. I believe that all changes in the main law must be approved through a nationwide vote or plebiscite that can be seen as vivid proof of the will of the people. Every citizen of Kazakhstan will be able to take part in a decision-making process linked to the country’s destiny. And of course, it will contribute to our policy toward all-around democratization,” said Tokayev.

According to the law on national referendum, a plebiscite must be held within three months after the final decision about a referendum. At the same time, the government and the public should spend at least one month on preparations for that event. However, in some cases, the president can set any date for the referendum.

After the January protests, President Tokayev initiated significant political reforms which now require amending the Constitution.

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