No more special privileges left for Nazarbayev

Senior correspondent

Members of Kazakhstan’s parliament have officially denounced the law on the first president Elbasy. They did this during the joint plenary session of the upper and lower houses of the parliament.

MP Erlan Sairov gave a speech before members of the two chambers. He reminded them that the move followed the referendum last summer when a set of amendments to the current constitution was supported by the people of Kazakhstan.

«The previous version of the constitution included clause 4 of article 46, which said that the status and authority of the first president Elbasy was decided by the special constitutional law. Now, this clause is gone. In the age of Kazakhstan’s deep political transformation toward democracy and pluralism, we should prevent private groups from seizing power with the help of loopholes in political mechanisms,» the MP said.

He also said that the move was initiated by the group of MPs given the population’s demand. This initiative was also supported by the Constitutional Court. The court ruled that the law on the status of the first president didn’t meet the constitution.

«Any attempt to monopolize political institutions can devalue political values and undermine the development of the state. We all saw this in real life in Kazakhstan. This is why we have to facilitate society to develop immunity to such loopholes in the future,» Sairov noted.

The deputy also underscored that denouncing the law on the first president is aimed at strengthening the constitution and the country’s political institutions.

The law on the first president used to provide Nursultan Nazarbayev with immunity from any legal prosecution for actions he made when he was in office. Moreover, the law protected him from search, arrest or inspection even after he lost presidential status. The ex-president and members of his family were also protected by security services.

Earlier this week the Senate also withdrew the status of Honorary Senator from Nazarbayev.

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