From time immemorial representative authority as the demonstration form of national democracy inheres in the Kazakhstan society. It modified depending on existing political system.
The modern Kazakhstani Parliament replaced one-Chamber body of the representative power - the Supreme Soviet, which was first formed on the basis of the Constitution of Kazakh SSR of 1937 and then - on the basis of the Constitution of Kazakh SSR of 1978 and the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan of 1993.
During the existence the Supreme Soviet was selected thirteen times. The first elections to the Supreme Soviet of Kazakh SSR were held on June, 24th, 1938. Elections were carried out on the basis of universal, equal and direct elective right by secret ballot.
At the same time, formation of deputy corps was conducted on the non-alternative basis under the rigid control of Communist party. Candidates for election were selected as to class, party, national, gender and age, and other quotas set by party organizations. Therefore, prior to beginning of elections there had already been known how many members of collective farms, industrial and office workers, communists, Comsomols, Kazakhs, Russians, Ukrainians as well as the representatives of other nationalities, women, youth, etc. would be the members of the legislative body. High-ranking state officials, heads of parties, comsomol and trade union bodies were nominated as candidates for election according to the posts they held.
The Constitution of Kazakh SSR of 1978 introduced some amendments to the electoral system. According to this Fundamental law of the country, the Supreme Soviet of Kazakh SSR was the highest body of the state power. The Supreme Soviet of Kazakh SSR was competent to decide all issues attributed by the Constitution of USSR and by the Constitution of Kazakh SSR to conduct Kazakh SSR. Working body of the Supreme Soviet – Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Kazakh SSR in the period between the sessions of the Supreme Soviet introduced, in case of necessity, amendments to the legislative acts of Kazakh SSR with their subsequent submissions for approval. The Supreme Soviet of Kazakh SSR created, when considered necessary, auditing and other commissions on any issue. All state and public bodies, organizations and high officials were obliged to fulfil requirements of standing and other commissions, to present them necessary materials and documents. The Supreme Soviet of Kazakh SSR was empowered to take into consideration and to decide any issue attributed to conduct Kazakh SSR.
The elections to the Supreme Soviet of Kazakh SSR of the twelfth convocation took place in March 1990. They were the first more democratic elections to the highest legislative body of the Republic, in conditions of still sufficient influence of the administrative-command system. More than two thousand applicants took part in the pre-election struggle for 360 deputy mandates. The peculiarity of the elections was that 90 people were elected from Republican public organizations. And though the elections were carried out in the absence of proper political parties, the processes of transformation of totalitarian system were deemed irreversible. The Supreme Soviet of the twelfth convocation played a particular role in the history of formation of parliamentarism in Kazakhstan. That found a reflection in adopting a number of principal legislative acts, legislative ensuring of the state policy in the 1990-s.
On April, 24 1990 by the Law of Kazakh SSR “On establishing the post of The President of Kazakh SSR, on introducing amendments and addenda to the Constitution (Fundamental Law) of Kazakh SSR” the post of the President of Kazakh SSR was confirmed and Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev was elected the first President of the country.
On 25 October 1990 the Supreme Soviet of Kazakh SSR adopts a Declaration “On the state sovereignty of Kazakh SSR”, in which territorial indivisibility and inviolability was established, the country is defined as a subject of international law, the institute of citizenship as well as the equal rights for forms of property were introduced.
The events of August and December 1991 – putsch in Moscow, which met a failure and Belovezh agreements, put the last point in the history of USSR, and on December, 16 1991 the Supreme Soviet of Kazakhstan proclaimed the state independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
On 28 January 1993 after two years quest for a compromise, the Supreme Soviet of the twelfth convocation adopted the first post-soviet Constitution of Kazakhstan, which completed formation of sovereignty of the Republic of Kazakhstan de jure and continued establishing genuine constitutionalism. Thereby in the Republic was put an onset to the transition on qualitative new stage of ensuring national independence, real guarantees of civil rights and freedoms, constructing democratic society and legal state.
The Constitution of 1993 opened expanse for the positive dynamics of developing Kazakhstani society, having refused of one party political form of government, monopolistic economic system, and ideology of historic violence.
At the stage of transition period to socio-oriented market economy, the Fundamental law legitimated Republic, as a new independent state in the world community. The Constitution of 1993 declared, that Kazakhstan positioning itself as a component of modern civilization, has intentions of good-neighbourliness and multiple mutually beneficial cooperation, adheres to universal human values.
In the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan of 1993 as in the former one, the Supreme Soviet was vested with very broad authorities that impeded the implementation of the principle of partition of power and creation of the system of checks and balances. Further implementation of reforms revealed inefficiency of the Republican bodies of power, in the first place representative, which could not react effectively to rapidly changed events and to take adequate decisions. The results of the work of the separate bodies of the Supreme Soviet of the twelfth convocation, functioning on permanent basis, also confirmed the necessity of creating professional Parliament. Nonworking mechanisms of checks and balances allowed the Supreme Soviet to interfere in the activity of the Government or replace it, which led to pre-term termination of the activity of the representative body of the Republic.
Selfdissolution of the Supreme Soviet of the twelfth convocation began with the resignation of the deputies of the local representative authorities. Firstly, Alatau district Soviet of Almaty, and then one after the other district and regional Soviets of the Republic rendered a decision on pre-term resignation and called their colleagues to follow their lead. By the end of work of the 11th session of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the twelfth convocation more than a quarter of local Soviets stopped their existence. In these circumstances, chosen representatives of the people after long discussions in the walls of the Parliament, adopted a Code of elections, a law on temporary delegation of additional authorities to the President of the Republic and to the heads of local administrations and a law on termination of the powers of the Supreme Soviet. Adoption of two recent legislative acts by the Supreme representative body of the Republic was actually equal to Constitutional amendments.
Elections which were held on 7 March 1994 contributed to the multiparty system in the Republic. 73,84 per cent of the electors participated in the elections. 910 people were nominated from 135 one-mandate constituencies, 962 candidates endured the terms of registration and 5 candidates on average struggled for one deputy mandate.
In accordance with provisional regulations on the bases of party representation, party factions were formed to the Supreme Soviet: the Union of People’s Unity of Kazakhstan (32 people), the Party of Popular Congress of Kazakhstan (22 people), Socialist party (12 people) and Federation of Trade-unions (12 people), as well as 14 deputy groups which were basically formed as to their professional indications. For the first time in the history of Kazakhstan, political parties and movements got access to real levers of power, possibility to affect formation and adoption of the state programs.
The period between the years 1994-1995 is exceedingly important in the history of formation of Kazakhstani parliamentarism. The Supreme Soviet of the thirteenth convocation functioning from April 1994 to March 1995 became the first professional Parliament of Kazakhstan in which deputies worked on permanent bases.
However, the fate of the Supreme Soviet of the thirteenth convocation turned out to be very dramatic. It entered into rights in the most complex period of state constructing, when the mechanism of partition of the branches of power was not led to the logical completion, the system of checks and balances was not filled with real content and was not defined the status of the Supreme Soviet, The President and the Government.
At the same time we should acknowledge, that the Supreme Soviet of the thirteenth convocation put the prerequisites of further development of parliamentarism in Kazakhstan. Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the thirteenth convocation A. Kekilbayev noted: “Creation of professional Parliament can be called without any stretch, one of the biggest events in the socio-political life of this year. Undoubtedly, the beginning of its work will enter the Kazakhstani historic calendar as one of the notable milestones in formation of new statehood and democracy… We have never had a professional Parliament and we have to act by the method of trials and errors… Gradually goes the crystallization of powers of the Supreme Soviet, possessing new status”.
Having worked less than a year, the Supreme Soviet of the thirteenth convocation was recognized illegitimate as the Constitutional court acknowledged some norms of elective legislation inappropriate to the Constitution, in correspondence with the elections of deputies, which were conducted.
Being a kind of compromise between an old and new political structure, the reflection of the attempt of introducing a model of western democracy, which was being built nearly centuries on post-soviet ground, the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan of 1993 initially comprised contradictions.
At 30th August 1995 referendum a new Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan was adopted, eliminating blemishes of former state structure.
A draft of the new Constitution was widely discussed in a society. About 30 000 proposals were inserted by citizens and specially created expert-advisory council had studied them under the guidance of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. More than thousand amendments were taken into account while working on the text, as a result 55 articles out of 99 of a draft Constitution underwent substantial changes.
On 30th August 1995 81,9 percent of population, participated at the referendum, had spoken out for the adoption of a new Fundamental Law.
The Constitution of the Republic had not simply proclaimed a principle of power partition, ensuring stability, effective functioning and interaction of legislative, executive and judicial branches in which a specific system of checks and balances was fixed. A person’s life, rights and freedoms were affirmed as superior values of a person.
The principle of partition of the state power does not contradict its unity but supposes the coordinated interaction of all the branches, impossibility of full power concentration in one of the branches. And so manifests a dialectical interaction of the branches of unitary state power, and mechanism of checks and balances contributes to the ensuring of political stability in the country.
The Constitution of 1995, which proclaimed Kazakhstan a Presidential Republic, as well as the Constitutional laws “On Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the status of its deputies”, “On the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan”, “On Judicial system and the status of judges” settled the status and functions of every branch of power.
According to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan of 1995 the Parliament of the Republic is the highest representative body of the Republic performing legislative functions.
The Parliament consists of two Chambers: the Senate and the Mazhilis, acting on a constant basis.
The deputies selected on two persons from each district, city of the republican importance and capital of the Republic Kazakhstan form the Senate at a joint session of deputies of all representative bodies, according to the district, city of the republican importance and capital of the Republic. Seven deputies of the Senate are appointed by the President of the Republic for the term of powers of the Senate.
The Mazhilis consists of seventy seven deputies. Sixty seven deputies are selected on one-mandatory territorial constituencies formed in accordance with administrative-territorial division of the Republic and with approximately equal number of electorate. Ten deputies are selected on the basis of party lists on a system of proportional representation and on territory of single national constituency.
Term of appointment of the Senate deputies is six years, and term of appointment of the Mazhilis deputies is five years.
It is necessary to note, that the concept "Parliament" for the first time has officially been fixed in the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan accepted on August, 30th 1995 on a national referendum. Only after that the President of the country N.A. Nazarbaev has signed the Decree which is valid the Constitutional law, "On elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan», according to this law the process of election of deputies in two-Chamber Parliament took place in the end of 1995.
THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN
OF THE FIRST CONVOCATION: 1996-1999
Elections to the Senate and Mazhilis of the Parliament of the first convocation were held in December, 1995.
Two persons from 19 regions and a capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan as 40 deputies were elected to the Upper Chamber. The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan appointed seven deputies of the Senate.
The majority of deputies until being elected held leading posts, they had scientific-pedagogical, scientific-research and creative activity, work experience in trade union and public organizations, entrepreneurial, industrial and social spheres.
Four women and four persons at the age of over 60 became the deputies of the Senate. All the deputies were qualified specialists with higher education. They were 10 - lawyers, 10 - economists, 9 - engineers, 8 - specialists of agriculture.
Four persons with doctoral degree, 11 candidates of sciences worked as members of the deputy corps. Most of the deputies were earlier elected to the legislative bodies. People’s deputies of Kazakh SSR, USSR; deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the twelfth and thirteenth convocations, having the experience of professional law-making activity were among them.
At 30 January 1996 first sitting of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the first convocation, by presentation of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan BAIGELDY Omirbek was elected a Chairman of the Senate.
In accordance with the article 44 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the article 69 of the Constitutional law “On elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan”, and due to the expiration of the constitutional term of office of the deputies authorities of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan elected for two years, on 8 October 1997 the elections of the deputies of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan were held for the term of four years. In connection with five regions closing, the elections were carried out in 14 regions of the Republic and in the Almaty city. As a result, 15 deputies were elected to the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 11 of them had earlier been the deputies of the Senate, 4 of them were elected for the first time.
Due to proclaiming Akmola the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the 11 February 1998, the elections of the deputies of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan were held in Akmola. Two deputies were elected to the composition of the Senate.
Elections to the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan were held on 9 December 1995. 67 deputies were elected. As to results of the elections to the Mazhilis there were a prevailing number of male deputies - 58, and 9 female deputies. All the deputies of the Chamber had higher education; seven of them possessed Doctoral Degree and 10 of them – Science Candidate Degree.
Among the elected deputies, the majority presented, were the heads and the employees of local executive bodies and Maslikhats (local legislative power) – 19 people. Every fifth deputy worked as a head of enterprise, association, firm, fund and other structures. Nine of them were scientific workers, teachers and worked at higher educational institutions. Every tenth deputy was a worker of the President’s Office, Ministries and Republican committees. Four deputies were temporarily unemployed. 11 deputies worked in the agrarian sphere and three of them in the sphere of culture. There were two workers of law-enforcement bodies and two deputies were engineers and economists. One lawyer, one military man and one pensioner were among the other deputies.
On 30 January 1996 at the first session of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the first convocation OSPANOV Marat Turdybekovich was elected a Chairman of the Mazhilis.
THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN
OF THE SECOND CONVOCATION: 1999 - 2004
In accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan at the elections of September 1999 and October 2002, half of the composition of the Senate was re-elected. Due to five regions closing of the Republic of Kazakhstan, deputies of the Senate of the Senate of the second convocation were elected from 14 regions and cities – Astana and Almaty until expiry of the term of their authorities, deputies from closing regions continued working, therefore until December 1999- 44 deputies worked at the Senate.
In 2003 the Senate comprised 39 deputies. Three women were among them. All the deputies had higher education, including 9 - lawyers, 6 - economists, 11 - engineers, 7 - agrarians, 6 - teachers, political scientists, journalists.
Four academicians, six doctors of sciences, three professors, and three candidates of sciences were in the composition of the Senate. Majority of the deputies of the Chamber had an experience of law-making, diplomatic activity, an experience of leading work in central and local state authorities, in scientific-research organization, industrial, socio-cultural and entrepreneurial spheres.
Most of the senators were formerly elected as deputies to the Supreme Soviet and the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the first convocation.
Chairmen of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the second convocation were elected – ABDYKARIMOV Oralbai (worked until termination of his deputy authorities on 10 March 2004) and ABYKAYEV Nurtai (since 10 March 2004).
In autumn 1999 in accordance with introduced constitutional amendments, for the first time in the region of Central Asia, the elections on mixed scheme to the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic were held. The scheme afforded the possibility for political parties to be elected to the Parliament as to party lists on the basis of proportional representation.
As a result of innovations, elections differed by high political tension and alternativeness, stimulating the process of creating political parties of parliamentary type. Ten political parties participated in the elections. 547 candidates were registered in majority one-mandatory constituencies. On the whole in the process of elections, unprecedented number of candidates – on average, 8 people for one place at that period for Kazakhstan were nominated.
As to results of the elections to the Mazhilis of the Parliament 67 deputies in one-mandate constituencies and 10 deputies from parties in united national constituencies were elected. They represented four parties "Otan" (motherland), Civil, Agrarian and Communist Parties which had overcome seven per cent barrier.
There were 8 women out of 77 elected deputies, 74 – of them with higher education, about 30 deputies graduated from two higher educational institutions. One Academician, seven Doctors and twenty candidates of sciences of different specialities were among them.
30 – engineers, 22 – lawyers, 16 – economists, 14 – teachers, 8 – scientists and the specialists of agriculture, a journalist, a doctor, a historian, a manager, a military man, a specialist in international relations and other were in the composition of the Deputy corps.
TUYAKBAI ZHarmakhan Aitbaiuly was elected a Chairman of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the second convocation.
THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN
OF THE THIRD CONVOCATION
In August 2005 were held the elections of 16 senators elected for six-year term in September 1999.
In accordance with re-elected senators, 39 deputies carried out their activity in the Senate of the Parliament in December 2005. An average age of parliamentaries is 57 years, 37 men, 2 women. All the deputies have higher education, 19 of them graduated from two higher educational institutions. 13 deputies – with technical education, 18 – humanitarians, 13 – lawyers, 6 – economists are in the number of the deputies.
Most of the deputies until being elected worked at state sectors, including 28 parliamentaries who were at leading positions. Many of them have an experience of legislative activity, as well as working in industrial, social and entrepreneurial spheres, scientific-research, scientific-teaching activity and in public organizations.
On 1 December 2005 ABYKAYEV Nurtai was re-elected a Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the third convocation.
Elections to the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the third convocation were held in September 2004. 12 political parties participated in the elections, 4 of them are in the composition of two elective blocs.
As to results of the elections to the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan - 77 deputies were elected.
67 deputies were elected in one-mandate territorial constituencies, set up as to administrative-territorial division of the Republic with approximately equal number of electors.
10 deputies were elected on basis of the party lists under the system of proportional representation and the territory of united nationwide constituency. 7 deputies from Republican political party "Otan", and one in each of the following parties – Republican party "Asar", Democratic party "Ak zhol" and electoral bloc "AIST" (Agrarian and industrial union of working people) Agrarian and Civil parties of Kazakhstan.
From the total number of elected parliamentaries 59 deputed were nominated by political parties: Republican political party "Otan" – 42 deputies, electoral bloc "AIST" – 11 deputies, Republican party "Asar" – 4 deputies, Democratic party "Ak zhol " – 1 deputy, Democratic party of Kazakhstan – 1 deputy. 18 deputies are self-nominees.
There are 69 men and 8 women in the composition of the Chamber. An average age of deputy corps of the Mazhilis of the third convocation - 53, the youngest - 28 years of age, the oldest - 73. All the deputies have a higher education.
28 deputies have scientific degrees and titles, including 13 candidates and 15 doctors of sciences.
Among the parliamentaries there is significant number of engineers of different specialities - 21, lawyers - 14, economists-16.
Besides, there are deputies in the Mazhilis of the third convocation, having the qualification of specialists of agriculture, international relations, managers, doctors, teachers, military men, journalists, culture workers and others.
37 parliamentaries were graduated from two higher educational institutions.
Within the recent years a number of the deputies with parliamentary experience in the Chamber is growing. 29 deputies of the Mazhilis worked in the previous convocations, 3 - in the first and second convocations, two of them - in the Senate, 12 earlier were deputies of the Supreme Soviet of different convocations.
MUKHAMEDZHANOV Ural Baigunsovich was elected a Chairman of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the third convocation.
parliament of the Republic of kazakhstan of THE Forth convocation
A new structure of the chambers of Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the fourth Convocation was formed in August, 2007 according to constitutional changes and amendments of May, 2007.
The head of the state additionally appointed 8 members to the Senate of Parliament on August 28, 2007, in view of the above-stated changes and amendments that increased the number of Presidential nominees up to 15 people.
According to the updated Constitution Mazhilis consists of 107 members. 98 of them were elected on August 18, 2007 from 7 political parties under party lists on unified national district on the basis of the general, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. 9 members of Mazhilis were elected on August 20, 2007 by the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan.
Only the Nur Otan People's Democratic Party overcome a seven percentage barrier on multi-party elections whose nominees have taken up all 98 places in Mazhilis of Parliament.
39 members of the last Convocation, 24 persons from the state bodies, 19 representatives of local state government, 8 businessmen, 8 persons engaged in education, science and culture, and 9 persons from other spheres constitute Mazhilis of Parliament.
As for education 42 members are engineers of various qualifications, 34 lawyers, 23 teachers. Some of them have got the second education. 21 deputies have economic education, experts in agriculture - 9.
Physicians, experts on foreign affairs, journalists, art and culture, and other specialists are also represented in the deputy corps.
There are 11 Doctors of Sciences and 10 Candidates of Sciences in Mazhilis. 35 Members of Parliament have two higher educations.
The number of representatives of different ethnicities in Chamber has been extended. The deputy corps comprises 82 Kazakhs, 17 Russians, 2 Germans and a Byelorussian, a Balkar, a Korean, an Ukrainian, an Uzbek and an Uyghur.
The number of women grew more than twice, there are now 17 women parliamentarians.
An average age of current Mazhilis members is 52 years, that for a year is less than in the third Convocation. Most parliamentarians, namely 44 of them, are aged between 50 and 59, 36 members are in the 40-50 age bracket, 23 persons are over the age of 60, and the smallest number, 4 members are in age from 30 to 40.
Aslan MUSSIN was elected as the Chairman of Mazhilis of Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan of the fourth Convocation.