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April 19, 2021

15th anniversary of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s Constitution

For Kazakhstan the last month of summer is characterized by a very important event. On August 30 the people of Kazakhstan will celebrate one of the most important state holidays – Constitution Day. The Constitution appeared in 1995 when the state’s fundamental law was adopted through a referendum. The country’s new modern democratic institutions were created in line with it and democracy’s main principle was established: the separation of power into three branches – legislative, executive and judicial, with a clear checks and balances mechanism.

The fact that the date of its adoption was celebrated on a wide scale in Kazakhstan reveals the powerful significance of the public system’s mainstay document. Especially since this year Kazakhstan celebrates 15 years since the adoption of this document.

The Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, adopted through national referendum on August 30, 1995 (with subsequent amendments in 1998 and 2007) as the country’s fundamental law, reflects the will of the Kazakh people and the country’s tendency to establish itself “as a democratic, secular, judicial and social state whose supreme values are the person and its life, rights and freedoms” (Nazarbayev).

Like Kazakh President Nursultan Nazabayev admitted, Kazakhstan’s Constitution is the basis of freedom. Thus, the Constitution has given the people of Kazakhstan the most important thing – the right to choose. Through Article 1 the Republic of Kazakhstan proclaims itself as a democratic, secular, judicial and social state whose highest values are the person and its life, rights and freedoms. In line with the amendments brought to the fundamental law on May 18, 2007, during the Parliament’s joint sitting, Kazakhstan is a unitary state with a Presidential-Parliamentary form of government.

During a relatively brief period, under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan managed to create a sovereign state with a new legislative system, economic framework and a new civil society. According to foreign economic analysts, Kazakhstan is recognised as one of the former Soviet countries that have the strongest development rhythm. Despite the global economic crisis and thanks to the President’s calculated and well-thought policy Kazakhstan has a functioning market economy.

In its turn, economic development means social stability and all of this is based on the norms of the Constitution. We know that the Constitution is the judicial basis of the whole Kazakh legislation. It judicially reinforced the country’s historical achievements. The Constitution is the guarantee for judicial security, social and economic well-being, of cultural and spiritual development. By adopting the Constitution the Kazakh people has chosen a truly democratic and legal society oriented towards the concrete person.

In line with tradition, on Constitution Day all Counties and cities host festive events and concerts given by amateur artists. But this holiday is most magnificently celebrated in Astana and Almaty.

On August 30 Kazakhstan marks 15 years of Constitution Day

Constitution Day is one of the young sovereign republic’s most important public holidays. The country’s Constitution established equitable and efficient mechanisms for attaining the interests of the whole multinational society. The Constitution is the basis of the legislative framework. All laws are based on the country’s Constitution. The realities of life confirm the fact that the Kazakh Constitution corresponds with today’s Kazakh society and it answers the country’s perspectives and goals.

Certainly, there’s always room for improvement, but, for now, the Constitution of Kazakhstan meets the necessary conditions and is looking towards the future.

August 30 marks the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the present Constitution in Kazakhstan. On this day, in 1995, the people of Kazakhstan made a historical choice, re-asserting their commitment to reforms underway and the continued wish to perfect the social order. The value of the fundamental law adopted by referendum in the life of Kazakhstan is timeless and this cannot be denied.

In the drafting of the Constitution the entire potential of internal legal science was drawn upon, while bringing together specialists from all fields related to social sciences and technical experts. In parallel, a study of Constitutions in other states was commissioned. As a consequence, the present Constitution was adopted by a national referendum. The first president of independent Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, was at the centre of this strenuous work. Specially created and chaired by the President himself, the Experts’ and Consultants’ Council closely analysed each proposal and 90 per cent of the voters who took part in the referendum – over 7 million citizens with a say in the process – voted in favour of adopting the new Constitution.

The new fundamental law clearly states and defends the citizens’ constitutional rights and liberties. The value of the human being, one’s rights and liberties, were enshrined in it to ensure the protection of each and every citizen.

The new Constitution promotes the development of democratic institutions and amendments made in 1998 and 2007 widened its scope. This may be attributed both to the democratisation of existing public institutions – the wider authority of the Parliament -, as well as to the activity of political parties and movements and the more active involvement of non-governmental associations in the public life. The 1995 Constitution introduced new institutions and norms: it set the bicameral structure of the national Parliament, made up of the Senate and the Majilis, the Constitutional Council, it defined the hierarchy of the sources of law, it created the unified system of courts of law, the new order according to which they should be formed, to ensure the independence of the judiciary. The 1995 Constitution boosted economic reform, created the legal basis and the legal ground on which the Government can operate, in a coherent fashion and so as to meet the demands of market relations.

On the basis of the Constitution, fundamental reforms were introduced in all the fields, and, at present, Kazakhstan is one of the leaders among countries in the former Soviet Union, building a democratic, secular, welfare, rule of law state, which has at its centre the individual human being, his life, rights and liberties. Nonetheless, the basic principles of the state are: social harmony and political stability, economic development in the interest of the community, patriotism and solving the most important problems of the state by democratic means. These constitutional principles are not empty words.

We should underline that the enshrinement of democratic rights in the Constitution was further acknowledged by the election of Kazakhstan at the helm of OSCE in 2010. This decision was also due to the fact that Kazakhstan is the initiator of several peaceful initiatives and is an advocate for peace and tolerance.

There is worldwide appreciation of the experience of Kazakhstan and of the fact that the author of the Kazakh model of interethnic and inter-religious agreement is the first President of our Republic, Nursultan Nazarbayev, which is quite rare among the national leaders in our day and age. In this quality, he acts as the safeguard of the endurance and development of the Kazakh state and takes full responsibility for the future of the state and of the people.

Given the importance of this significant event, as of this year, special celebrations will mark Constitution Day in Kazakhstan. Thus, a military parade and a festive meeting will be held on this day. Festivities to mark Constitution Day will take place in all the counties and regions of Kazakhstan. The day will become a national holiday, which will give cohesion to the society of Kazakhstan and will consolidate in the consciousness of ordinary citizens the values of the state and of independence.

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