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World > Asia > Kazakhstan > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Kazakhstan - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
Kazakhstan is a constitutional republic with a strong presidency. It is divided into 14 oblasts and the two municipal districts of Almaty and Astana. Each is headed by an akim (provincial governor) appointed by the president. Municipal akims are appointed by oblast akims. The Government of Kazakhstan transferred its capital from Almaty to Astana on June 10, 1998.

The president is the head of state. The president also is the commander in chief of the armed forces and may veto legislation that has been passed by the Parliament. President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been in office since Kazakhstan became independent. In 1995, President Nazarbayev called for a referendum that expanded his presidential powers: only he can initiate constitutional amendments, appoint and dismiss the government, dissolve Parliament, call referenda, and appoint administrative heads of regions and cities. The prime minister, who serves at the pleasure of the president, chairs the Cabinet of Ministers and serves as Kazakhstan's head of government. There are three deputy prime ministers and 16 ministers in the Cabinet.

Kazakhstan has a bicameral Parliament, comprised of a lower house (the Mazhilis) and upper house (the Senate). Single mandate districts popularly elect 67 seats in the Mazhilis; there also are 10 members elected by party-list vote. The Senate has 39 members. Two senators are selected by each of the elected assemblies (Maslikhats) of Kazakhstan's 16 principal administrative divisions (14 regions, or oblasts, plus the cities of Astana and Almaty). The president appoints the remaining seven senators. Mazhilis deputies and the government both have the right of legislative initiative, though the government proposes most legislation considered by the Parliament.

Elections to the Mazhilis in September 2004 yielded a lower house dominated by the pro-government Otan party, headed by President Nazarbayev. Two other parties considered sympathetic to the president, including the agrarian-industrial bloc AIST and the Asar party, founded by President Nazarbayev?s daughter, won most of the remaining seats (Asar and Otan subsequently merged in July 2006 to form the new Otan party). Opposition parties, which were officially registered and competed in the elections, won a single seat during elections that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said fell short of international standards. The opposition party Ak Zhol refused to take the seat in protest of the flawed elections.

In December 2005, President Nazarbayev won a new 7-year term in an election that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said fell short of international standards. Official results gave the president 91% of the vote, although independent exit polls found this figure to be somewhat inflated. Opposition candidates Zharmakhan Tuyakbay (For a Just Kazakhstan) and Alikhan Baymenov (Ak Zhol) were able to compete freely in this election.

Principal Government Officials
President--Nursultan Nazarbayev
Head of Presidential Administration--Adilbek Dzhaksybekov
Prosecutor General--Rashid Tusupbekov
National Security Committee (KNB) Chairman--Amangeldy Shabdarbayev
Prime Minister--Karim Masimov
Deputy Prime Minister--Aslan Musin
State Secretary--Oralbay Abdykarimov
Minister of Agriculture--Akhmetzhan Yesimov
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Marat Tazhin
Minister of Culture and Information--Yermukhamed Yertysbayev
Minister of Tourism and Sports--Temirkhan Dosmukhanbetov
Minister of Defense--Daniyal K. Akhmetov
Minister of Economy and Budget Planning--Karim Masimov
Minister of Education and Science--Zhanseit Tuymebayev
Minister of Environmental Protection--Nurlan Iskakov
Minister of Finance--Natalya Korzhova
Minister of Health Care--Yerbolat Dosayev
Minister of Industry and Trade--Galym Orazbakov
Minister of Interior--Baurzhan Mukhamedzhanov
Minister of Justice--Zagipa Baliyeva
Minister of Labor and Social Protection--Gulzhana Karagusova
Minister of Transport and Communication--Serik Akhmetov
Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources--Baktykozha Izmukhambetov
Minister of Emergency Situations--Viktor Khrapunov
Chairman of Central Electoral Commission--Kuandyk Turgankulov
Secretary of the Security Council--Berik Imashev
Chairman of the National Bank--Anvar Saidenov
Chairman of the Financial Supervision Agency--Arman Dunayev
Chairman of the Financial Police--Sarybay Kalmurzayev
Chairman of the Statistics Agency--Bakhyt Sultanov
Chairman of the Agency for Management of Land Resources--Bakyt Ospanov
Chairman of the Agency for the Regulation of Natural Monopolies--Bakytzhan Sagintayev
Chairman of the Information and Communication Agency--Askar Zhumagaliyev


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Kazakhstan Tenge Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Kazakhstan Tenge Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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