MIRAS ZHIENBAYEV, LEADING EXPERT OF THE CIS UNDER THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN
Qantar and the processes that he launched clearly show our unambiguous ability to change. Contrary to the established world practice, when the state increases repression and control in response to protests, the Kazakh stan once again demonstrates the uniqueness of the nature of the domestic political tradition.
Reflecting on the practice of the past era in Kazakhstan and the world, we made a difficult, but the only right decision, we started strengthening the institutions of state power, the inviolability of the norms of the Constitution and lay protective mechanisms to ensure them.
State-building is a long game, as despite the fact that we now live in a period of time that we understand that the political institutions of the state will exist in ten or a hundred years. Right now we are voting for the rules, norms and values that will be relevant in the next decades.
On March 19, Kazakhstan will approach the final electoral stage of a complete reset of state power institutions, which will be marked by elections to the country's highest representative body – the Majilis of Parliament and at the local level – to regional maslikhats. The legislative branch of government is completing its large-scale transformation in accordance with the Constitution updated at the June referendum, following the reforms of the institution of the President, the judicial system, the revival of the Constitutional Court and the elections to the Senate.
At the same time, we will soon have to take the last step in a set of reforms: after the resignation of the current Cabinet of Ministers, a new composition of the Government of the republic will be appointed before the legitimately elected Parliament.
Any of these events individually from an academic point of view is a challenge to the stability of the political system. At the same time, carrying out such a large-scale complex of transformations and a consistent reboot of each institution of state power in such a short time interval and in the current geopolitical realities will obviously become an unprecedented case in world political science and a subject for further reflection in the future. Today, only one thing can be said unequivocally, the state and society are ready for changes and ultra-precise reconfiguration of interaction mechanisms.
In the case of Kazakhstan, this readiness was the result of a synthesis of two fundamental factors: a significant public demand for political reforms and the exceptional rationality of the country's leadership, whose strategic approach is aimed at creating a new paradigm of the future. Both of these components are critically important for the success of political transformations.
At the same time, it must be remembered that both society and the state should equally participate in the reform process. The direct way of such participation is elections – the only way to build the society and the state that we consider important in a civilized way.
You don't need to be a specialist in the theory of international relations or the theory of state and law to observe what the political non-participation of the population in elections leads to.
In this issue, it is important for the Kazakh society not only to delve into the details, but also to see the whole picture: the elections to the Mazhilis and maslikhats are a fundamental, but equally important moment in the political life of Kazakhstanis.
In a world where confrontation has reached an unprecedented level, and two-thirds of the world economy is facing a large-scale recession, we, as a rational state and society, are creating an environment for our own progress. This is important for the political culture of our country, where every participation in elections becomes an invaluable experience.
This is important for the Kazakhstan's society, which, despite the most diverse views and positions, relies on the six-century tradition of Kazakh statehood, which allows us to maintain rationality.
Criticizing or ignoring elections (and here world history can show a whole range of amazing cases of what ignoring voting and living outside politics leads to), we are, in fact, pouring out water, suffering from thirst. That is why now, when the country is preparing for the election of a qualitatively new Mazhilis and maslikhats of various levels, it is important to focus on the main thing. Political elections are not only about civic responsibility or a heated discussion on social networks, it is a direct participation in building the image of the future of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
A source: kazpravda.kz