On 15th January, 2012 in the Republic of Kazachstan: elections for the deputies of the Majilis of the Parliament of the state and of the local councils (maslikhats) will be held. The Open Dialogue Foundation hereby presents you with a brief introduction to the main principles of the election process in the country and its participants. Lest we forget that parliamentary elections took place in Kazakhstan in August 2007, in which the party “Nur Otan”, headed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, were elected, gaining 88.05% of the vote. On 16th November, 2011, Nursultan Nazarbayev signed an act on dissolution of the lower house of the Parliament and sanctioned early election date of 15th January, 2012.
The Parliament of Kazakhstan сomprises two Houses: the Senate (47 seats ) and the Majilis (107 seats), acting on a permanent basis. The Senate consists of the deputies in accordance with the principle that each district and a city of a national significance (the city of Almaty) as well as the capital city of the Republic of Kazakhstan are represented by two persons. Thirty-two senators are elected by indirect electors (deputies of the local councils – the maslikhats). Fifteen deputies of the Senate are appointed by the President of Kazakhstan. The number of deputies of the Senate may be increased on account of former presidents of Kazakhstan who automatically become senators after retiring from their post as the head of state. In Majilis, 98 deputies are elected on the basis of a list proportional system within the all-national district. The electoral threshold is 7 per cent of the vote. Another nine members are elected by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan (an advisory body of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the composition of which is determined by the Chairman of the Assembly, i.e. the president of the country). The term of office of the deputies is 5 years. The right to nominate candidates for the Majilis deputies, who are elected from the party lists, lies with political parties registered in the prescribed manner.
The period of nomination for candidacy ceased on 5th December and registration of party lists took place between 16th November and 15th December, 2011 The period for the pre-election campaign are as follows: for the candidates for deputies of the Majilis – from 16th December, 2011 until 13th January, 2012, for the candidates for deputies of the maslikhats – from 21st December, 2011 until 13th January, 2012. The Polling Day is scheduled for 15th January, 2012. The election of deputies of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan is scheduled for 16th January, 2012. According to the amendments made to the electoral legislation, after the upcoming early elections Majilis will no longer be allowed to be a one-party body. According to Part 2 of Art. 97-1 of the law “On Elections”, in the case that the party which came second do not amount 7 percent of the vote, it will be allowed to participate in the allocation of seats. under such circumstances , the sum of the votes given to the two political parties should be divided by the number of allocated seats. The solution to this calculation will be the first electoral quotient (the quota).
- The official website of the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan http://www.minjust.kz/
- The official website of the Parliament of Kazakhstan http://www.parlam.kz/
- The official website of the President of the Republic of Kazakhsta http://www.akorda.kz/
- The Central Election Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan http://election.kz/
The political parties – subjects of the electoral law of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The overlook
1. The Democratic Party “Adilet” (“Justice”) was registered on 14th of June, 2004 as the Democratic Party of Kazakhstan (DPK), renamed on the 14th of April, 2006. During the elections of the deputies for the Majilis in 2007, the party “Adilet” merged with the “Ak Zhol” party and in consequence, the united force received 3,09 % of the vote yet did not enter Parliament. In October 2011 “Adliet” made a decision to disunify from“Ak Zhol”. The President of the Party is Maskut Narikbaev.
2. The Democratic Party of Kazakhstan “Ak Zhol” (“Path of Light) describes itself as a “constructive opposition”. The party was registered in the bodies of justice in 2002. In 2005, a rift formed in the party and, as a consequence, a new party was established. It is called “The real Ak Zhol”) which has not previously been registered. During the elections to the Majilis in 2007 (together with the “Adilet”), the party received 3,09 % of the vote and did not enter the Parliament. The leader of the Party is Azat Peruashev.
3. Kazakhstani Social Democratic Party “Auyl” (“Aul” is the local administrative body which is equivalent to that of a village) – was registered on 1st of March, 2002. During the elections to the Majilis in 2007, the party received 1,51 % of the vote and did not enter Parliament. The President of the party is Gani Kaliev.
4. The Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan. The CPPK went through the national registration process on 21st June, 2004. During the elections to the Majilis in 2007, the party received 1,29 % of the vote and did not enter Parliament. During the presidential elections in 2011, the candidate from the party, Zhambyl Akhmetbekov came third, receiving 1,36 % of the vote. The President of the Party is Vladislav Kosarev.
5. The People’s Democratic Party “Nur Otan” (“The Light of the Fatherland”) was established in 1999 at the initiative of the incumbent president, Nursultan Nazarbaev. The previous composition of the Parliament was represented exclusively by this party. The President of the party is Nursultan Nazarbaev.
6. The All-National Social Democratic Party “Azat”. The All-National Social Democratic Party of Kazakhstan “Azat” (the ANSDP “Azat”) was established as a result of the merging of ANSDP and the “Azat” party (“Freedom”) on 24th October, 2009. It should be noted that the ANSDP “Azat” did not pass the registration under its new name and it will participate in the elections as the ANSDP. The leaders of ANSDP “Azat” consider this state of affairs politically motivated. Among the reasons for refusal indicated in the orders of the Ministry are: absence of term of powers of co-presidents in the documents filed by the party as well as discrepancies between the Kazakh and Russian text of the statute in description of the symbols of the party. The President of the party is Zharmakhan Tuyakbai.
7. The Patriot Party of Kazakhstan. The party was registered 4th August, 2000. At the elections to the Majilis in 2007 the party received 0,78 % of the vote (the voting was carried out according to the proportional system) and it did not enter Parliament. During the elections of the president of Kazakhstan in 2011 the candidate from the party, G. Kasymov came second, receiving 1,94 % of the vote. The President of the party is Gani Kasymov.
8. The Party “Rukhanyat” (“Spirituality”). The party was registered in the bodies of justice 6th October, 2003. During the elections to the Majilis in 2007 the party received 0,37 % of the vote and did not enter the Parliament. The Party positions itself as the “green” direction party, but in the election programme approved before the 2012 elections, it focuses its attention on the building of a national Kazakh state, suspension of all integration processes “in order to maintain the sovereignty and independence of Kazakhstan” as well as the closure of all foreign military training camps . The president of the party is Serikzhan Mambetalin.
The parties without registration or with suspended activity
In Kazakhstan, nine political parties are registered, but only eight of them are eligible to participate in the elections. We should summon to mind the fact that on 5th October, 2011 the Inter-district Administrative Court in Almaty suspended the activities of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan (CPK) for six months under Part 2 of Article 374 of the Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Administrative Offences” due to the presence of the signature of Gaziz Aldamzharov, the party chairman, under the statement of the unregistered public association “Khalyk Maidany” – “The People’s Front”. The CPK was registered on 28th February, 1994, and it was re-registered on 17th February, 1997, and then again in 2003. The Communist Party of Kazakhstan did not participate in the elections to the Majilis in 2007.
The party “Alga” (“Forward”), which calls itself the ideological successor of the opposition People’s Party “The Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan” (the PP DCK), is among those parties which were refused registration. The PP DCK was registered in the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan on 4th May, 2004. On 6th January, 2005 a Specialized Economic Court of Almaty announced its decision of dissolution of PP DCK on the grounds of charges made against them relating to “political extremism” and “inciting social hatred and discord.” The reason for this was both their political statements that the party does not recognize the authorities elected in the polls to the Majilis on 19th September, 2004, claming that the norms of the elections failed to be democratic and their support for the democratic opposition in Ukraine (in 2004 in Kiev there were mass protests against the rigged presidential elections.) The works on establishment of the People’s Party “Alga” began in May 2005. The acronym “DCK” could not be used in the title because of the amendments made to the legislation on political parties, banning the use of words that were previously used in the names of the liquidated parties. In November 2006, the party list, consisting of 53,000 declarations, were filed in the Ministry of Justice for registration. The president of the party is Vladimir Kozlov.
We should bear in mind that on 28th June, 2011 the CPK and the “Alga” declared the establishment of the movement “The People’s Front”. The formed organization was not granted registration due to the signature of the CPK leader on its declaration and subsequently its activities were suspended. During the consultation meeting on 21st November 2011, the representatives of the All-National Social Democratic Party (ANSDP) “Azat”, the opposition party “Alga”, the Communist Party of Kazakhstan (the CPK) and Non-Governmental Organizations made the decision to unite around the ANSDP – the only opposition party which will participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.