Election to be Held One Year After President’s March State of the Nation Address

March 14, 2023

Elections of deputies of all levels will be held a year after President’s March State of the nation Address, in which a large-scale political reform, implemented in the shortest terms, was announced.

"We should understand that no one from the outside will do anything for us. Everything is in our hands", - is perhaps the most important quote from the message "New Kazakhstan: the path of renewal and modernization" on the eve of the upcoming elections to Mazhilis and Maslikhats deputies of all levels. The current election campaign is held in the renewed format, and it is logical that we all need to maximize the results of the reform with the maximum turnout at the polls.

Addressing to Kazakhstanis on March 16, 2022, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev underlined that the scope of the Address will go beyond a year, but already now, after 12 months, one can see the clear border of changes in one of the key areas of political transformation - the electoral system. In many ways, the current election system is completely different from the way it was before. We have not seen such competition and competition for votes for a long time.

Society is changing. By actively participating in the political life of the republic, citizens are fulfilling the President's main directive. "The key goal of political modernization of the country is to increase the role of citizens in the governance of the state, including through electoral processes," Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said a year ago.

And as long as we are talking about elections - it is not only the right to be elected, but also to be an active voter who makes an informed choice.
The first step - today you can easily find out your constituency, and the lists of all candidates in it, and the polling station through telegraph-bot. It takes a minute, but gives you a clear picture: which candidates you know and which you have never heard of.

Voting is not a legal responsibility, but certainly a civic duty. And it does not hurt to look for information about one's own candidates. This is the 21st century - help yourself on the Internet. But do not forget to think critically, to choose reliable sources of information.

Complex modernization of the political system of the country launched by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is based on long maturing public demand for fundamental changes. Elections in single-mandate districts is one of those requests. And if they were asked, it is now necessary to make good use of it.
What do we, ordinary voters, want from our representatives in power? We can answer this question we asked ourselves - quality, working laws. But not only that. People elected to the Majilis are responsible for high-quality lawmaking, but deputies of oblast, city and district maslikhats are the closest to the people (literally in the physical sense).

Then, when asked "What do we want from a deputy?", the most common answers come to mind: to get him to allocate the budget for communications, for roads, for the construction of schools and sports grounds. To be able to achieve solutions to our down-to-earth problems: that transport works smoothly, that there are no potholes in the yards, that there is light in every alley. Akimats should do it, but the MP is the most important link for communication with the people.

That's why Kassym-Jomart Tokayev suggested switching completely to the majoritarian electoral system just in the cities and districts: according to him, this is where "the close interaction of deputies with the citizens is required. But any interaction implies two-way traffic. And it is certainly time for us, the voters, to stop waiting for the candidate to come, tell them and invite them. It would be much more correct to ask questions (including uncomfortable, unprepared ones), demand meetings, and even more so to go to the polls. After all, the return of the column "against all" on the ballot paper is also an element of choice.

And one more peculiarity of the current election campaign, the difference from the previous ones, which came out from the Address of the Head of the State in March: not a single "portrait" of the President in the election campaign and "silence" of the akims of the regions. Now the legislative norms initiated by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev about the termination of membership in the President's party for the period of his powers and about prohibition for regional leaders to hold party positions are working. This is a case when a neutral position of an authority just helps to ensure "honest and open competition and to eradicate all artificial monopolies forever both in economics and politics".

And finally, for all skeptics who are lazy, afraid and just do not want to go to polling stations this Sunday, we can remind one more quote of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: "People who do not believe in future cannot build strong state".

Source: kazpravda.kz