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Kazakhstan

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Kazakhstan



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The Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazakh: Қазақстан Республикасының Үкіметі) oversees a presidential republic. The President of Kazakhstan, currently Nursultan Nazarbayev, is head of state and nominates the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of parliament.

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Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Nursultan Nazarbayev Nur-Otan 22 February 1990/1 December 1991)
Prime Minister Karim Masimov 2007-01-10

The president is elected by popular vote for a seven-year term. The prime minister and first deputy prime minister are appointed by the president. Council of Ministers is also appointed by the president. President Nazarbayev expanded his presidential powers by decree: only he can initiate constitutional amendments, appoint and dismiss the government, dissolve Parliament, call referendums at his discretion, and appoint administrative heads of regions and cities.

The president is the head of state. He also is the commander in chief of the armed forces and may veto legislation that has been passed by the Parliament. President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been in office since Kazakhstan became independent, won a new 7-year term in the 1999 election that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said fell short of international standards. A major political opponent, former prime minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, was prohibited from running against the president because he had attended an unauthorized meeting of "the movement for free elections". On top of this the election was unconstitutionally called two years ahead of schedule. Free access to the media is also denied to opposing opinions. In 2002 a law set very stringent requirements for the maintenance of legal status of a political party, which lowered the number of legal parties from 19 in 2002 to 8 in 2003. 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. Daniyal K. Akhmetov became the Prime Minister in June 2003.

Legislative branch

The legislature, known as the Parliament (Parliament), has two chambers. The Assembly (Mazhilis) has 77 seats, elected for a four year term, 67 in single seat constituencies and 10 by proportional representation. The Senate has 47 members, 40 of whom are elected for six-year terms in double-seat constituencies by the local assemblies, half renewed every two years, and 7 presidential appointees. In addition, ex-presidents are ex-officio senators for life. Majilis deputies and the government both have the right of legislative initiative, though most legislation considered by the Parliament is proposed by the government.

Judicial branch

There are 44 judges on the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan. There are seven members of the Constitutional Council.

Kazakh Intelligence Services

Kazakhstan's National Security Committee (KNB) was established on 13 June 1992. It includes the Service of Internal Security, Military Counterintelligence, Border Guard, several Commandos units, and Foreign Intelligence (Barlau). The latter is considered by many as the most important part of KNB. Its director is Major General Omirtai Bitimov.

Administrative divisions

Kazakhstan is divided into 14 Provinces 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 Province Akims. The Government of Kazakhstan transferred its capital from Almaty to Astana on 10 June 1998. The Province or oblystar (singular — oblys) and cities (kalalar, singular — kala)* are : Almaty (Taldykorgan), Almaty*, Akmola (Kokshetau), Astana*, Aktobe (Aktobe), Atyrau (Atyrau), West Kazakhstan (Oral), Baykonur*, Mangystau (Aktau), South Kazakhstan (Shymkent), Pavlodar (Pavlodar), Karagandy (Karaganda), Kostanay (Kostanay), Kyzylorda (Kyzylorda), East Kazakhstan (Oskemen), North Kazakhstan (Petropavl), Zhambyl (Taraz). The administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses); in 1995 the Governments of Kazakhstan and Russia entered into an agreement whereby Russia would lease for a period of 20 years an area of 6,000 km² enclosing the Baikonur space launch facilities and the city of Baikonur.

See also

External links

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