A Kazakh woman prepares traditional drink at the her home in Aktau, Mangistau region, Kazakhstan on June 25, 2022. Families living in the Mangistau region on the Caspian Sea coast of Kazakhstan continue their lives by continuing their Kazakh traditions. Photo Credit: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Society Kazakhstan2. July 2022

Their Voices Have Been Heard: More Democracy in This Country

The population of Kazakhstan went to the polls and approved the many constitutional changes meant to empower lawmakers and free the country from its former presidential grip on power, laying the foundation for the Second Republic.

“The referendum can be considered validated,” says Nurlan Abdirov, chair of the national electoral commission, since a majority of citizens voted in favor of the move.

More than 68% of voters cast their votes during the referendum, 77.17% were in favor and 18.66% voted against the changes. The new President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, handpicked by the former leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, proposed dismantling the “super-presidential” system currently in place, effectively putting an end to the privileges the former leader enjoyed. The reforms are meant to strengthen the role of the country’s parliament, restore the Constitutional Court, and abolish the death penalty. Also, an amendment bans Nazarbayev and his relatives from holding government positions, including running for president.


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