Kazakhstan’s parliament may quickly strike out the legislation “On the First President,” which might severely impression the immunity granted to date to former President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his household.
On December 28, the parliament thought of a invoice with a strange formula: “A draft legislation on the constitutional legislation On the First President shedding power.” Attributable to procedural points, nevertheless, the parliament couldn’t vote to strike the legislation out.
“A joint assembly of each chambers might be convened in January and we’ll focus on these adjustments,” Yerlan Koshanov, speaker of the decrease chamber, informed the media.
A doc leaked to journalist Vadim Boreiko on December 26 foreshadowed the willingness to take away the legislation. Within the leaked letter, three deputies — Yerlan Sairov, Aidos Sarym, and Zhanarbek Asimzhanov — proposed canceling the legislation, which provides a variety of privileges to Nazarbayev and his relations.
The three deputies confirmed the veracity of the doc when reached by Vlast.kz journalists on the identical day.
“Two months in the past I mentioned that this situation could be resolved by the top of the 12 months. For some time now the parliament has been coping with this,” Sairov informed Vlast.kz.
In accordance with the Structure (Article 46), Nazarbayev retains a variety of immunities from felony prosecution, however the proposed legislation will finally impression the immunity additionally granted to his relations and the funds that the federal government allocates to bills associated to the upkeep of his “First President” group. The provisions of the legislation included housing, transport, a museum, a private archive, a private library, and medical help.
The legislation “On the First President,” adopted in July 2000, established a big selection of privileges for Nazarbayev. The legislation was amended in 2010, when Nazarbayev was given the title of “Elbasy – Chief of the Nation.”
In accordance with the legislation, the First President maintained a consultative and strategic position even after his retirement in 2019.
When he retired, he retained and exercised this energy. Consultants argued that the primary years of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s presidency had been a relentless balance between Akorda, the presidential palace, and the Library, which symbolized Nazarbayev’s headquarters.
In Might 2021, a mural appeared in Almaty depicting a younger Nazarbayev, later modified with the phrase “Cancel” on his brow. The #CancelElbasy hashtag made the rounds of social media on the time.
Simply weeks later, coinciding together with his birthday in July, Nazarbayev witnessed the erection of two more statues in his honor, one within the capital and one in Shymkent.
The occasions of January 2022, which grew to become often known as Qandy Qantar (“Bloody January”) additional weakened the place of Nazarbayev, who appeared frail and constant to Tokayev’s “New Kazakhstan” in a video launched within the aftermath of the violence. That very same day, a preferred petition to scrap his immunity gathered tens of hundreds of signatures.
After Qandy Qantar, Nazarbayev was not in command of the Nationwide Safety Council, not the chief of the Nur-Otan ruling get together (quickly after renamed “Amanat”), and his place as Elbasy seemed more and more shaky.
Within the June 5 referendum, Kazakhstan voted in a yes-or-no package deal of constitutional reforms throughout a referendum that Tokayev known as primarily to indicate the those that he meant to maneuver on from the Nazarbayev system. Within the reform package deal, one provision meant to weaken the powers related to the title of Elbasy, primarily an anti-Nazarbayev transfer given that there’s just one “Father of the Nation.”
All through his three a long time in energy, Nazarbayev, who typically loudly rejected the cult of persona, had nonetheless indulged in his skill to form Kazakhstan in his personal picture.
A celebratory banknote was issued in November 2016 with Nazarbayev’s face on it. Astana’s airport was renamed in honor of the president in June 2017. The central Furmanov Avenue in Almaty was renamed Nazarbayev Avenue in November 2017. And, finally, the capital was renamed Nur-Sultan the day after Tokayev took workplace in 2019, main a number of mayors to rename numerous central avenues of their cities after the First President.
At each single one in every of these steps, Nazarbayev mentioned he didn’t ask for it, that he was as a substitute centered on the well-being of the nation.
With the reversal of the political currents, nevertheless, the citadel of Elbasy privileges is perhaps underneath siege.
The renaming of Nur-Sultan again to Astana in September was one other step towards demolishing the symbols of Nazarbayev’s omnipotence. Granted, the capital will proceed to be imbued together with his affect, given his hand within the metropolis’s 25-year-long evolution, with buildings he designed, and with landmarks bearing his title.
The lag between the landslide approval of reforms proposed within the June referendum and the scrapping of the legislation “On the First President” is a telling story of the resistance to putting off the previous president whereas he’s nonetheless alive.
In 2019, in these pages, I wrote that “Elbasy will proceed to be the guarantor of unity till his remaining hours.” The sunset of the autocrat may now be nearer, however whether or not Tokayev’s represents a genuinely “new system” is still unclear.