The Implications and Potential of Reforms Transforming Kazakhstan.

by: Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram, Executive Director, Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future (PRCCSF), Islamabad:

The impact and prospects of reforms transforming Kazakhstan, initiated on June 5, 2022, through political and constitutional amendments alongside robust legislative changes, have set a trajectory towards sustainable development, democratic unity, human rights protection, and institutional cooperation across the country.  Kazakhstan stands at the forefront of progress and development across multiple fronts, including the economy,

political reforms, and the promotion of diversity and global cooperation, driven by infrastructural advancements, foreign investments, and economic initiatives that have transformed Kazakhstan into an emerging economic powerhouse. The responsible conduct in international affairs and dynamic development trajectory geared towards achieving progress and fostering mutually beneficial cooperation.

The transformative journey, spearheaded by President Tokayev, underscores a commitment to decentralizing power, preventing monopolies from obtaining privileged access to national resources, strengthening local and regional government authorities, and actively engaging citizens in the governance of the country to characterize a robust system of governance comprising a strong presidency, an influential parliament, and an accountable government.

Key Reforms: The constitutional and social reforms have symbolizes the dawn of a new era in Kazakhstan’s political development, ushering in an era of democratization, accountability, and sustainability in state management. Notably, the reforms entail a reduction in presidential powers, significant strengthening of parliament and local authorities’ roles, reinforcement of mechanisms for protecting human rights, including the re-establishment of the Constitutional Court and constitutional empowerment of the Commissioner for Human Rights, and a notable increase in citizen participation in governance processes.

Among the key democratic reforms within the constitutional framework are changes in the electoral system, including direct voting for candidates and mechanisms for the withdrawal of mandates, facilitating easier formation of political parties, abolition of the death penalty, strengthened mechanisms for protecting human rights, particularly through enhanced roles for the Constitutional Court and the Commissioner for Human Rights, and legal reforms aimed at combating violence against women and children, alongside new media laws fostering closer ties between NGOs and the state.

Kazakhstan has made remarkable strides in implementing extensive political reforms, enriching its democratic fabric by accommodating diverse political perspectives and distributing power to elected legislative bodies, as exemplified by President Tokayev’s leadership initiatives fostering direct citizen involvement in the governance structure, reaffirming Kazakhstan’s commitment to diplomatic solutions grounded in international law and balanced relations with neighboring countries. Kazakhstan’s progress in implementing extensive political reforms has enriched its democratic fabric, accommodating diverse political perspectives and distributing power to elected legislative bodies, as exemplified by President Tokayev’s key policies and priorities, which have broadened public participation in shaping the constitutional framework.

Key Priorities outlined by President Tokayev’s: In his national address on March 15, 2024 at the National Kurultai (National Congress), President Kassym Tokayev outlined key tasks and priorities for Kazakhstan, stressing the need to adopt a comprehensive approach and providing guidelines not only in the socio-economic realm but also in the ideological sphere. President Tokayev asserted the necessity of building a state with robust democratic institutions and a developed legal system that upholds the rule of law and order while remaining tolerant of all faiths, beliefs, and teachings.

Central to Kazakhstan’s technological plans is a people-centric approach that prioritizes IT technologies as a promising growth point, with plans to create a supercomputer, launch a new data center, and build a fiber-optic communication line along the bottom of the Caspian Sea to establish another digital corridor between Europe and Asia, highlighting the nation’s ambition for total digitalization and accelerated development of artificial intelligence.

In terms of foreign policy, Kazakhstan remains committed to bilateral and multilateral cooperation through constructive dialogue and active diplomatic and foreign economic activity, focusing on integration processes within the Eurasian and Central Asian regions. As a responsible member of the international community, Kazakhstan must always be prepared to defend national interests, sovereignty, and independence, ensuring that all decisions of the state apparatus, whether domestic or foreign policy, are grounded in fundamental national interests.

Moreover, Kazakhstan aims to become one of the key transit hubs of Eurasia, playing a pivotal role in fostering international trade and cooperation between Europe and Asia. Consistently developing transit corridors and comprehensively stimulating foreign trade turnover are deemed necessary steps in Kazakhstan’s journey towards greater economic prosperity and regional connectivity.

In conclusion, Kazakhstan’s journey towards a ‘New Kazakhstan’ focuses on the implementation of laws and policies fostering social, cultural, and political norms aligned with principles of justice, honesty, emancipation, unity, and diligence, aimed at achieving common aspirations, sustainable progress, and regional cooperation.

President Kassym Tokayev’s leadership has led the nation towards socio-economic progress, national development, and political modernization, paving the way for a bright and promising future characterized by robust economic development and the pursuit of a welfare state.


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