Kazakh Leader Seeks Political Capital in Constitutional Reform Vote

 

ALMATY (Reuters) – Kazakhstan votes on a constitutional reform on Sunday promoted by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as a step in direction of liberalising the tightly-run oil-rich nation, though it could nonetheless go away key powers in his fingers.

The reform is probably going to provide the 69-year-old Tokayev the political capital he must run for a second time period in the Central Asian nation carefully allied with Russia, this time with out the backing of his former patron and predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Although in energy since 2019, following Nazarbayev’s abrupt resignation after three a long time in energy, Tokayev has solely absolutely emerged as an impartial determine this 12 months after subverting an tried coup in January and eradicating Nazarbayev and his kinfolk from key positions in the federal government.

Aside from strikes to decentralise decision-making and permit higher illustration of varied teams in parliament, the reform will even strip Nazarbayev of his “nationwide chief” standing which granted him lifetime privileges.

Tokayev has described the proposed modifications as a transfer from a “superpresidential” system to a presidential republic with a powerful parliament. Although critics say the reform is beauty, it does mark a reversal from a decades-long pattern in direction of strengthening presidential powers.

 

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“We are… laying the muse for the Second Republic,” Tokayev mentioned, addressing the nation on the eve of the vote.

Analysts say the transfer is in half a response to January’s unrest which began as a protest towards a gas value hike and advanced right into a broad show of public discontent with a system which concentrates energy and wealth in the fingers of some.

Tokayev has additionally known as for increased taxes on the profitable extractive industries and high-income people, saying social justice could be the cornerstone of a brand new social contract.

Addressing home coverage issues would free up the profession diplomat’s fingers to take care of unprecedented exterior turbulence.

Caught between main financial and safety companion Russia and the West, which has invested tons of of billions of {dollars} into its big oilfields and mines, Kazakhstan is attempting to navigate a method by means of the Ukrainian disaster with out angering both facet.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Christina Fincher)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.


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