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20 February 2007
The first sitting of the working group for issues of constitutional reform was held under the chairmanship of Head of State Nursultan Nazarbaev.

The working group was established according to the decision made by the State Commission on development and concretization of the program for democratic reforms. Its objective is to incorporate suggestions gathered in the adopted by the State Commission document “Major directions of political reformation in the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2007-2008” into a juridical document.

At the first sitting the President outlined major principles, which the members of the working group shall abide by in their work. The most important priorities include preservation of social political stability, capable and strong state power as a necessary precondition to the observance of law and democratic development in the country.

- Making amendments to the Constitution does not mean revising the conception of the country’s Main Law. Our Constitution has proved its strength and effectiveness. Because of the Constitution there are stability, constructive interaction between power branches, dynamic economic development in the country, - the Head of State emphasized.

The President noted the need to exclude many issues, which concern tactical aspects of the country’s political building, from the Constitution. Those are flexible enough areas, which must be regulated with laws.

It is necessary to note that the sitting of the working group, which was started as an organizational one, gradually was turned into a lively discussion. The sides discussed in details issues concerning the strengthening role of the Parliament, choice of election system taking into consideration the party factor during the reformation of the election legislation.

The Head of State said while concluding the sitting:

- Your task is to study the suggestions made by the State Commission, consider their legislation aspects and prepare suggestions on making amendments to the country’s Constitution. This is an important stage in developing clear, verified, internally agreed juridical definitions. The quality of your work will determine the successfulness of political transformations in Kazakhstan.

It is planned that sittings of the working group for issues of constitutional reform will be held once a month.

Chairman Igor Rogov of the Constitutional Council was appointed deputy chairman of the working group.

Included among the members of the working group were Deputy Head Onalsyn Zhumabekov of the Administration of the President, Chairman Ermek Zhumabaev of the committee for state construction and law policy of the Senate of Parliament, Chairman Sergey Zhalybin of the committee for legislation and judicial law reform of the Mazhilis of Parliament, Head Talgat Donakov of the Department of legislation and law expertise of the Administration of the President, principal Omrali Kopabaev of the University named after D. Kunaev, director Gairat Sapargaliev of the Scientific Research Institute for State and Law at the Kazakh Humanitarian Juridical University, head Viktor Malinovski of the constitutional law department at the Kazakh National Pedagogic University named after Abay, head Kalimolla Khalikov of the judicial power and criminal litigation department at the Kazakh National University named after Al Farabi.

After finishing the sitting members of the working group took part in a press briefing.

Igor Rogov, the Chairman of the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the deputy chairman of the working group for constitutional reform:

- A variety of very important issues have been concerned. It is necessary to maximally use the possibility of broadening the Parliament’s authority, but in the framework of presidential republic. The working group followed the idea that the ‘democracy’ definition cannot be associated only with such an external sign as prevailing representative organs of state power. Democracy does not mean a parliamentary republic. It is very important to preserve the statehood, and at the same time to broaden the Parliament’s authority.

Omrali Kopabaev, the principal of the university named after D. Kunaev

- Today at the sitting we agreed that the Constitution does not need a significant revision. Actually, it needs some spot amendments to some articles, which do not correspond now to our social relations.

Viktor Malinovski, the head of the constitutional law department at the Kazakh National Pedagogic University named after Abay.

- We, lawyers, one year ago told that there might be some concrete amendments to the Constitution, but not a total revision of its principals. It is very important that political parties must master those functions that they traditionally perform in highly developed democracies. I mean ideological education and political preparation of citizens.

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