Recent Constitutional Reforms in Kazakhstan: A Move towards Democratic Transition?

In: Review of Central and East European Law
Zhenis Kembayev KIMEP University, Almaty, Kazachstan, <>

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This article aims at examining the major principles and provisions of the constitutional structure of Kazakhstan in the context of the amendments introduced to the Constitution of Kazakhstan on 10 March 2017. In doing so, it provides an analysis of the fundamentals of Kazakhstan’s constitutional system as well as major constitutional provisions underlying the status of the capital, the status of individuals, the Kazakh-style strong presidency and weak parliament. The article provides background to Kazakhstan’s constitutional development and elections. It pays particular attention to the relationship between the President, the Parliament and the Government, but also expounds the influence of the President on the Constitutional Council and judicial bodies. Finally, it summarizes and demonstrates major features and problems of Kazakhstan’s constitutional system in order to provide an answer as to whether the recent constitutional reforms constitute a move towards the country’s democratic transition.

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