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Presidential elections in Kazakhstan scheduled to April 26

26 february 2015, 16:28
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©Turar Kazangapov
©Turar Kazangapov

Early presidential elections in Kazakhstan have been scheduled to April 26, 2015, Tengrinews reports citing President Nursultan Nazarbayev as saying yesterday.

"Today, I have consulted the leaders of the Senate and the Mazhilis of the Parliament, the Prime-Minister of Kazakhstan and the Chairman of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan. (...) The dates of the presidential and parliamentary elections fall on the year 2016, and in fact coincide. But the Constitution does not allow that," Nazarbayev said.

"The nationwide coalition of democratic forces Kazakhstan-2050 has declared its unanimous support to the early presidential elections. It includes six political parties, 18 nation-wide public associations, 500 regional non-governmental organizations. I have been receiving a lot of letters and telegrams from workers' associations, enterprises, veterans, students, from people of all ages and professions. This manifests a surge of political activism among our citizens and their genuine concern about the fate of our country. Many thanks to all of you for this!" he said.

He reminded that two proposals had been brought forth in the context of the coinciding dates of the presidential and parliamentary elections: to hold the presidential elections early or to hold a referendum to extend the powers of the incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

"Both proposals are feasible, but the correct approach would be to conduct the elections - this meets the requirements of the Constitution. Therefore, in the interests of the people (considering the requests they have been making), to implement the will of the people and to strictly keep the fundamental law, I have made the decision and, as prescribed by paragraph 3.1 of Article 41 of the Constitution, I have signed the decree calling the early presidential elections on 26 April 2015,” he said.

As for whether he himself was planning to run for President in the elections, Nazarbayev said that he would make his decision later.

"Elections is the most important constitutional patriotic act. They must be conducted in strict accordance with the law - openly and fairly and with broad participation of domestic and international observers. I will make the decision on my participation in the upcoming elections later, in full accordance with the Constitution," Nazarbayev stressed.

In his speech he offered some context to explain why the early elections were a timely decision and why the need for such a solution even emerged.

All the letters and appeals I have been receiving express concern about maintaining stability in Kazakhstan and making sure that no foreign or domestic conflicts effect our country, the President said. "People understand that this requires strengthening the internal stability and unity of our society," he said.

Nazarbayev also spoke about the looming global economic crisis. He said that people in Kazakhstan needed some confidence in the future. “This is, above all, job security and stability of social benefits, salaries and scholarships," he continued.

The President spoke about the national security concerns in Kazakhstan and said that Kazakhstanis favoured "continuation of balanced foreign and domestic policies. These are complicated issues these days. Their solution requires us - all the citizens of Kazakhstan and officials of every level of the government - to consolidate our forces to implement the planned programs aimed at overcoming the crisis. Thus, all of us have a difficult job to do," he said.

The President stressed that during the years of independence Kazakhstanis came to appreciate peace and harmony as their main national heritage. "And it needs to be protected and enhanced through our everyday work. Unity and stability are our responsible choice and the principle formula of our homeland's successful development," he said.

Nazarbayev reminded that it had been four years since the last presidential elections in Kazakhstan. “We have achieved all the goals I talked about in my 2011 campaign. Now we are implementing a long-term Strategy-2050 to becoming one of the 30 most developed countries of the world. The programs I have prioritised address all the strategic development issues with due consideration of the global economic and geopolitical risks. Because of the crisis and a sharp drop in prices of our exports, we had to urgently optimise our fiscal policies," he said.

Nazarbayev added that Kazakhstan was implementing a set of anti-crisis measures that had to be continuous to be successful. "I am convinced that we will overcome the difficulties of the global development. We have all the prerequisites: a clear action plan, unity among our people, and the needed resources," he said.

Reporting by Assemgul Kassenova and Altynai Zhumzhumina, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina


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