Happy Constitution Day, Kazakhstan!

 

30 August 2022

August 30 is traditionally celebrated in Kazakhstan as Constitution Day.

It was on this day in 1995 that a new draft Constitution was adopted at

a nation-wide referendum. Drafted by a panel of experts and passed through broad public discussion, the Constitution embodied the will of the people and considered the necessary values, which the young nation wished to exemplify on its journey.

Underpinned by the unalienable values of freedom, granted to every

citizen, the Constitution has proven central to the accomplishments of

Kazakhstan and provided the country with the guide for development and prosperity which the state enjoys today.

Looking back over the years since Kazakhstan’s Constitution was

overwhelmingly approved in a national referendum in 1995, it is very

clear how important it has been to the country’s progress. The Constitution has provided both the principles and mechanics which have

enabled Kazakhstan to rise to every challenge it has faced. The strong

emphasis, for example, placed on individual rights and equality before

the law has helped forge a tolerant harmonious society which has won

international respect.

In ensuring the freedoms of speech, assembly and religion, as well as

political diversity and personal liberty, the constitution has provided

a blueprint for the country’s social, economic and political

development. The country’s tolerant society, where every citizen –

regardless of their creed – can feel valued and free, as well as the

state’s wider domestic prosperity, is a testament to the forward-thinking nature of the Constitution as a guide to success, unbound by time or historic context.

Beyond this, the strength of any constitution can be measured by its

ability to adapt to an ever-changing society, while remaining true to

its fundamental values. In this regard, the adoption of amendments and additions to the constitution, by the nation-wide referendum in June 2022 is a historic moment for Kazakhstan.

The constitutional reform in 2022, proposed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, is aimed at a comprehensive transformation of the entire state model, which includes the final transition from a “super-presidential”

form of government to a presidential republic with an influential

parliament and an accountable government, which entails limiting the

powers of the President.

In addition, the constitutional reform, being developed by subsequent

laws currently, will significantly strengthen the representative branch

of power, strengthen the system of checks and balances, and increase the independence of maslikhats (local representative bodies). Furthermore, a

mixed majority-proportional model for the election of deputies to the Mazhilis and regional maslikhats would be introduced. Part of the amendments focus on enhancing the protection of human rights, by

establishing the Constitutional Court, consolidating the status of the Commissioner for Human Rights at the constitutional level, and fully banning the death penalty.

If a constitution is not amended to reflect modern challenges and

realities, there is a danger that it becomes to act like a straitjacket,

limiting the right response to changing conditions. Kazakhstan has not fallen into this trap as the recent constitutional reforms have underlined. These significant democratic and institutional reforms are aimed at ensuring the Constitution is an important platform for

Kazakhstan’s continued development in the future.

Following the most recent amendments and additions to the country’s

Constitution, Constitution Day on 30 August takes on extra significance

and importance. As Kazakhstan commemorates Constitution Day, we are

granted the opportunity to reflect on the progress which Kazakhstan has

made in the past 30 years. At the time when the Constitution was first

approved in 1995, Kazakhstan was a young nation facing the many

challenges encountered by newly independent countries all over the

world. Looking to escape the legacy of the Soviet Union and forge its

own national identity, Kazakhstan’s Constitution – under strong leadership – codified the values that we hold dear and outlined the

principles that laid the foundation for our stability and achievements.

As Kazakhstan marks Constitution Day, it is also worth celebrating the citizens of Kazakhstan, both past and present, who have embodied its

fundamental values to promote a peace-loving and civil society,

dedicated to the ideals of freedom, equality, and concord.

Happy Constitution Day, our dear Brothers and Sisters from Kazakhstan!

Congratulation of the Head of Kazakhstan on the Constitution Day

Dear compatriots,

I congratulate you on the Constitution Day of Kazakhstan!

This year, this holiday acquires a special political significance. The

results of the national referendum on constitutional amendments

demonstrated the unity of our people and their strong support for

large-scale reforms aimed at comprehensive modernization of the country.

Together we are building a New Kazakhstan, guided by the principles of the rule of law, justice and equal opportunities for all. The time has

come when every responsible citizen can become an active participant in

reforms and contribute to the development of the state.

The values of democracy proclaimed in the Constitution, guarantees of the rights and freedoms of citizens clearly define the strategic vector

of development of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The main goal of the planned reforms will be to increase the well-being

of citizens, the consistent strengthening of statehood and the

harmonious development of society. To fulfill these difficult tasks, our

country needs each of you, dear fellow citizens!

I sincerely wish you good health, happiness, achievement of all your

goals, success for the benefit of our Motherland!

The Diplomatic Informer
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