Experts Discussed the Implementation of the President's Political Reforms

March 3, 2023

The new format of the upcoming early elections of deputies to Mazhilis of the Parliament and Maslikhats of all levels is an indicator of the democratization of the political system. Kazakhstani political analyst Eduard Poletayev told about it.

He noted that after the political reforms made by the President after the changes in the Constitution and party legislation, the elections will formally be held with serious changes. This year the elections will be held under the majoritarian-proportional representation system.

“This is an indicator of the democratization of the political system, its modernization. This is a stabilizing factor for Kazakhstani politics, for its multiparty system. It is possible that the Parliament will be more diverse in terms of political structuring. This is also an important intrigue of these elections, that is, there was a dominant party and the other two parties that played the role of stabilizing the left and right wings. How this party landscape will now be reflected in the Parliament is already less predictable,” the expert explained.

First, he noted that the number of members of parliament is being reduced from 107 to 98, and second, there are one-mandate seats, which means that 29 people will be elected in single-mandate districts. The threshold of the electoral threshold for parties has been reduced from 7 to 5%. There is a requirement that 30% must be made up of young people, women, the disabled.

“There will be more parties, the role of maslikhats will increase, more than 3 thousand people will be elected, and maslikhats will be elected on the principle of 50% - by party lists, 50% - by districts, at the district level - 100% self-nominated. This will also actualize the opportunities and increase the influence of maslikhats. We can expect a fairly serious competition. That is, the elections should be quite interesting, including at the expense of self-nominated,” added Eduard Poletayev.

In his opinion, the new format of the elections will also encourage voter turnout. The Kazakhstani authorities start to become more active and to draw voters to the elections.

“The authorities will do their best to make sure that the campaign runs smoothly and that the technical equipment is of high level so that the voters have comfortable conditions. It is no secret that somewhere around 4-5 ballots will be handed out, here it is very important that voters do not get confused. That is why organizational preparation is very important,” concluded the political scientist.

He reminded that elections themselves are a direct form of democracy, through them most citizens take part in the exercise of state power. This is the control of citizens over the activities of government, respectively, it gives rise to the responsibility of the authorities before the population.