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Parliament ratifies constitutional amendments


ASTANA. Deputies of the Parliament have adopted the Law "On introducing amendments and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan" in the second reading, Kazinform News Agency reports.

During the joint session of the Parliament Chambers, Mazhilisman Nurlan Abdirov presented the full version of the law.

He noted that the amendment to article 91 of the Constitution secures the inviolability of the state's independence, as well as the need to have the Constitutional Council's conclusion on amendments to the Basic Law.

Article 91 stipulates that along with the unitarity and territorial integrity of the republic, as well as its form of government, its independent status cannot be changed even through the revision of the Constitution.

He added that to ensure the inviolability of the constitutional provisions changes and additions to the Basic Law may be submitted to a national referendum or the Parliament only in case Constitutional Council considers they comply with the requirements. It is also suggested to appeal to the Head of State on this issue.

The amendments also stipulate that Parliament is the supreme representative body in the Republic, which performs not just legislative functions but executes the legislative power in accordance with Article 3 of the Constitution.

In accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 3 of the Constitution, the right to speak on behalf of the people and the State belongs to the President and Parliament, within the limits of its constitutional powers.

Mr. Abdirov emphasized another important amendment - on the right to hear the reports of members of the Government on their work and appeal to the President to relieve them of office in the event of failure to observe laws. In such case, the President relieves members of the government of office.

According to the new wording of paragraph 2 of Article 61, President shall have the right to determine priority of draft laws consideration, which means that the most relevant bills can be adopted within two months.

A significant change is proposed to paragraph 1 of Article 70, under which the Government shall resign its powers to the newly elected Mazhilis.

"This provision increases the accountability of deputies, as well as it strengthens the principle of the country's electoral system", said Abdirov.

Amendments to Article 44 provide for the transfer the authority to approve state programs and a unified system of financing and payment of workers of all bodies financed from the state budget from President of the Government.

This will work will be carried out by the Government upon an agreement with the Head of State. The project eliminates the right for the Head of State to cancel or suspend the acts of the Government or Prime Minister. Thus, the Government will hold a full responsibility for its acts.

At the same time, in order to protect human and citizen rights and freedoms, national security, sovereignty and integrity of the state, President may appeal directly to the Constitutional Council to consider an adapted law or other legal act on its compliance with the Constitution.

Some amendments relate to the court and the prosecutor's office. "Current version of paragraph 3 of Article 79 of the Constitution establishes qualification requirements for judges. These requirements are specified in the constitutional law "On the Judicial System and Status of Judges of the Republic of Kazakhstan". The bill proposes qualification requirements for judges are specified exclusively by law", said the deputy.

The norm in Article 81, according to which, Supreme Court supervises the activities of courts is replaced by a clarification that the Supreme Court in cases stipulated by law considers cases within its jurisdiction.

Changes to paragraph 1 of Article 83, relate to generalization of particular functions of prosecutor's office, as they are carried out by the prosecutor's office under the supreme supervision over the observance of legality in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

"In the present edition the basic functions of the Prosecutor's Office are stated widely but at the same time short and with reference to the law. It is also provided that the prosecutor's office carries out supreme supervision over the observance of the norm of law in the country, limits established by the law, as well as it represents the state's interests in court, and prosecutes on its behalf", he said.

The bill also contains norms relating to local representative and executive bodies. In particular, amendments to paragraph 5 of Article 86, provide that the powers of maslikhats may be terminated early by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, after consultation with the Prime Minister and Chairmen of Chambers of Parliament.

In paragraph 4 of Article 87 the order of appointment or election of akims of towns, districts and villages, as well as their relief of office is moved to the law level. Currently it is governed by President's Decree.

"During these days, in the first reading all standing committees of the Senate and Mazhilis, factions of political parties and the deputy group of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan discussed the submitted draft law and proposals made by deputies. The Joint Commission of the Parliament Chambers worked actively on March 4 and 5 (...) in total 26 amendments to a number of norms of the Constitution were received and have been discussed extensively. Upon completion of its work the Commission has decided to submit 10 amendments for the second reading. Most of them were made public by the deputies during the first reading", said Nurlan Abdirov.