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About Senate

About Senate

The Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the supreme legislative body of the country that performs legislative functions.

 

The powers of the Parliament enter their force with the opening of its first session and come to an end with the start of the first session of the new convocation of the Parliament. Structure and activity of the Parliament, legal status of MPs are defined by the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstanand the Constitutional law “Of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the status of its members” and other legislative acts.

 

The Parliament comprises of two Chambers: the Senate (47 members) and the Mazhilis (107 members) working on a permanent basis.

 

The Senate is composed of elected members - two from each region, the city of republican importance (Almaty) and the capital city of the Republic of Kazakhstan at joint sessions of the members of all representative bodies of respective regions, city of the republican importance and the capital city of the Republic.

 

Members of the Senate are elected on the basis of indirect suffrage by secret ballot. Half of elected members of the Senate are up for election every three years.

 

Fifteen members are appointed by the President of Kazakhstan with the view to ensure representation for all the diverse national, cultural components of society.

 

The term of office for the members of the Senate is 6 years.

 

According to constitutional norms in the Parliament of the fifth convocation, members of the Senate elected in 2008 and 2011 and those appointed by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2007 and 2011 continue to hold office.

 

 

Power s of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan

 

Parliament at a joint session of the Chambers shall:

     make amendments and additions to the Constitution at the proposal of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan;

     approve the reports of the Government and the Accounts Committee on implementation of the republican budget. If the parliament doesn’t approve Government’s report on implementation of the republican budget, it means a motion of no-confidence vote by the Parliament against the Government;

     have the right to delegate legislative powers for a term not exceeding one year to the President by two-thirds of the votes from the total number of deputies of each Chamber at the initiative of the President;

     decide issues of war and peace;

     adopt decisions concerning the use of the Armed Forces of the Republic to fulfill international obligations in support of peace and security at the proposal of the President of the Republic;

     hear annual messages of the Constitutional Council of the Republic on the state of the constitutional legality in the Republic;

     form joint commissions of the Chambers; elect and release from office their chairpersons; hear report on the activity of the commissions;

     exercise other powers assigned to Parliament by the Constitution.

 

Parliament at separate sessions of the Chambers through consecutive consideration of issues first in the Mazhilis and then in the Senate shall adopt constitutional laws and laws, and shall:

·     approve the republican budget, make amendments and additions;

·     establish and remove state fees and taxes;

·     establish the procedure dealing with the issues of administrative-territorial division of Kazakhstan;

·     institute state awards, honorary, military and other titles, ranked positions, diplomatic ranks of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and define state symbols of the Republic;

·     decide issues of state loans and rendering of economic and other assistance by the Republic;

·     issue acts of amnesty to citizens;

·     ratify and denounce international treaties of the Republic.

Also shall:

·     discuss reports on implementation of the republican budget;

·     conduct second round of discussions and voting on bills and separate articles that were subject to President’s objection;

·     put forward an initiative calling for national referendum.

 

 

Exclusive powers of the Senate of Parliament

 

The following shall belong to exclusive jurisdiction of the Senate:

     election and discharge from office of the Chairperson of the Supreme Court and judges of the Supreme Court of the Republic at the proposal of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and swearing them into office;

     approval of the appointment of the Prosecutor General and the Chairperson of the Committee of National Security by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan;

assuming all the functions of the Parliament of the Republic in adopting constitutional laws and laws in the period of temporary absence of the Mazhilis following its early dissolution (On two occasions the Senate assumed all the functions of the Parliament in adopting constitutional laws and laws: - from June 21 till July 11 2007, and from November 16, 2011 till January 19, 2012);

     Exercise other powers assigned to the Senate of the Parliament by the Constitution.

 

 

Special authorities of the Senate of Parliament

 

Each Chamber independently without participation of another Chamber shall:

     appoint two members of the Constitutional Council; appoint two members for a five-year term to the Central Election Commission and three members of the Accounts Committee for control over implementation of the republican budget;

     terminate powers of members of the Chambers;

     hold Parliamentary hearings on the issues of within its jurisdiction;

     hear reports of members of the Government of the Republic on the issues of their activities;

     set up coordinating and working bodies of the Chambers;

     adopt the rules of its activities and other decisions on the issues related to organization and internal procedures of the Chambers.

 

 

Status of member of the Senate of Parliament

 

A member of the Parliament must be a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan who has been a permanent resident on its territory over the last ten years.

 

To hold office Senators have to be at least 30 years of age with higher education and 5 years of work experience, permanently residing on the territory of the particular region, city of republican significance or the capital of the Republic for at least 3 years.

 

Powers of a member of the Parliament commence from the moment of his/her registration as a member of the Parliament by the Central Election Commission of the Republic.

 

At the first session of Parliament at joint session of its Chambers MPs take oath to the people of Kazakhstan: “I do solemnly swear to truly serve the people of Kazakhstan, to strengthen integrity and independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, to abide strictly by its Constitution and laws, to carry out honestly the high duties of an MP assigned to me».

 

Administration of the oath is done by the President at a ceremony in the presence of members of the Government, the Constitutional Council, judges of the Supreme Court, ex-presidents of the Republic.

 

 

Powers of members of the Senate of Parliament

 

Member of Parliament has to participate in the work of the Parliament and its bodies.

 

Voting in the Parliament is done in person by an MP.

 

Member of the Senate exercises the right of a decisive vote on all issues considered at sessions of Parliament and its bodies of which he/she is a member.

 

Member of the Senate has the right:

     to elect and be elected to working bodies of the Parliament and the Senate;

     to make proposals and comments concerning the session agenda, the procedure and content of discussed issues;

     to express opinion on nominations elected or appointed by the Senate of Parliament or consent to the appointments made by the Parliament and the Senate;

     to submit proposals to Bureau of the Chamber regarding issues at a joint session of the Chambers of the Parliament and at a Senate session of the Parliament and if his/her proposals are turned down - submit them for the Senate’s consideration;

     to submit issues for consideration at gatherings of working bodies of the Parliament and of the Senate of Parliament;

     to propose to hold a hearing by the officials accountable to Chambers of Parliament at a joint session of Parliament;

     to make MP inquiries in the order established by the law;

     to participate in debates, to make queries to speakers, and also to the chairperson;

     to present arguments upon his/her voting in favour of certain amendments and share information;

     to make amendments to draft bills, resolutions, other decrees accepted by Parliament;

     to inform members of Parliament about appeals of public significance from citizens;

     to see texts of MP speeches in shorthand reports and minutes of Parliament’s session;

     to request information and documents necessary for his/her activity from state bodies and officials; state bodies and officials should provide MPs with requested documents and materials with consideration of secrets protected by law;

     to exercise other powers according to the present Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the status of MPs”, rules of Parliament and of its Chambers.

 

 

Parliamentary activities

 

Standing committees of the Senate within the scope of their competence are free to choose forms and methods of activity, interact with state bodies and public unions, examine and take into account public opinion, hold parliamentary hearings, government hours, conferences, round tables, meetings, presentations and other parliamentary events.

 

Committees of the Senate hold visiting sessions across regions in order to examine public opinion on bills under consideration by the Parliament and other pressing issues.

 

MPs visit for their or other regions quarterly and meet with different groups of people, get acquainted with the situation on the fields, answer citizens’ questions, comment on major provisions of laws adopted by the Parliament.

 

 

Public activity of members of the Senate

 

Members of the Senate take active part in public life. Among the MPs there are members of the political party “Nur Otan”, the Party of Patriots of Kazakhstan, the commissions and councils under the President and the Government of the Republic.

 

 

MPs’ inquiries and questions

 

MPs’ inquiry is an official request addressed at a joint and separate sessions of the Chambers of the Parliament to state officials to obtain information on specific matters related to the competence of this body or an official.

 

Member of the Senate has the right to make an inquiry to the Prime Minister and the Government, Chairman of the National Bank, Chairman and members of Central Election Commission, Prosecutor General, Chairman of the Committee of National Security of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Chairman and members of the Accounts committee for control over execution of the republican budget.

 

Up to now members of the Senate have made more than thousand inquiries on various issues of state and public life.

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