The last elections to the paramlent were held on September 19 (first round) and October 3 (second round) of 2004. The term of office of deputies of the Senate is 6 years, the term of office of deputies of the Mazhilis is 5 years.
The Senate is constituted by deputies elected by two people from each region, city of republican significance (Almaty) and the capital of Kazakhstan (Astana) from maslikhats (local representative bodies). Seven deputies of the Senate are appointed by the President. Thus, the Senate consists of 39 deputies: deputies elected by two people from each of the 14 regions, as well as Astana and Almaty - 32 people. 7 - presidential appointees.
The last elections to the Senate took place on October 8, 2002, the next elections will be held in autumn 2008.
Mazhilis consists of 77 deputies. 67 - are elected in single-mandate territorial electoral constituencies, formed taking into account the administrative-territorial division of the republic and with approximately equal number of voters. 10 deputies are elected on the basis of party lists according to the system of proportional representation. The next elections to the Majilis are expected in autumn 2009.
Now it is difficult to assess the results of the parliamentary elections held in Kazakhstan last fall.
The new composition of the legislative body, called one of the most “pocket-sized” in the history of the country, has not yet manifested itself. Moreover, at present there are practically no clear criteria for assessing the deputies ’corps - there were no bright draft laws or even any program statements. Due to the fact that the electoral process was again criticized, and the opposition almost did not pass to the parliament, interest in the legislature is now very low.
Today, perhaps, it is possible to note only two perspectives - the resonance that caused the elections and their possible consequences.
First of all, almost all the experts agree on this, the autumn campaign absolutely de-romanticized the political scene of Kazakhstan. Against the background of the unprecedented political activity of the main players - parties, candidates, the media - the government very strictly carried out its line, not allowing the opposition into the parliament. This caused disappointment not only for the already passive voter, guided by the Soviet principle “you will not change anything, they will decide above”. The saddest thing was that the disappointment was felt by the politicians who understood that the notorious administrative resource is stronger than marketing and skillful management.
On the other hand, given that in less than a year Kazakhstan will elect a president, it was possible to assume in advance that the parliament against this background should be as tame as possible, and it would be naive to hope that the political reforms announced by President Nazarbayev apply to such strategically important areas as a government. And even if they are spreading, as, for example, plans to expand the powers of parliament, then no one will give this tool to random individuals, and even more so to opponents.
According to the results of the parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan, the Otan (Fatherland) party, headed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of the republic, received most of the mandates - 42 of 77 seats in the lower house of parliament.
Of the 42 seats of the Otan party in parliament, 26 seats were obtained in single-mandate constituencies and 7 on party lists.
According to the results of voting on party lists, the three political parties and one electoral bloc crossed the seven percent barrier. The Otan Party received 60.62%, the Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol (Shining Path), positioning itself as a right-wing party that is in constructive opposition to the current government, 12.04%, and Asar Party - 11.38%, “AIST” electoral bloc - 7.07%. In accordance with the existing law, the Otan party received 7 deputy mandates, the Ak Zhol and Asar parties and the AIST electoral bloc - one mandate each.
Dosym Satpaev, director of the Risk Assessment Group, believes that the autumn parliamentary elections showed that the authorities could not overcome their fear of political reforms. Elections were held very roughly and obviously boiled down to the main task - the formation of an absolutely loyal to the president majority in the legislative branch. At the same time, he points out, the excessive aggressiveness of the authorities during the elections is evident, which indicates the president’s desire to use the new parliament in the implementation of its new legislative initiatives, which are most likely related to presidential elections, including changes to the Constitution. Perhaps, Mr. Satpayev suggests, these initiatives relate to changing the party system - in accordance with the model of young Asian democracies where one party dominates.
According to the political scientist Erlana CarinaThe obvious interference of the authorities in the electoral process during the parliamentary elections in the form of mass frauds and violations confirmed by independent polls and studies took place against the backdrop of the unprecedented political activity of political parties for Kazakhstan. Despite this, the authorities began to aggravate relations with the opposition, practically pushing the last of the public political space into the “street politics” zone. At the same time, the political scientist is inclined to think that the presidential power in Kazakhstan has burned the last bridges, depriving himself of the opportunity to establish a dialogue with opponents. Explaining this, Mr. Karin concludes that everything has been done to provoke the opposition to take radical action and create a formal justification for tightening the response.
Political scientist Konstantin Siroezhkin It is difficult to assess at this stage the activities of the parliament. But considering how the elections were held and who came there, he is not sure that the work of the parliament will be effective. The electoral process of the past elections was not without reason, the political scientist notes, and the deputies will have to lobby the interests of the influential groups behind them. Unfortunately, the law on lobbying in Kazakhstan has not yet been adopted, so lobbying will take place outside the law.
Dosym Satpayev is also sure that the elections will not increase stability within the political elite: FIGs and political parties mainly fight for influence on the president, and won a conglomerate of the regional elite and several influential groups. It is unlikely, the political analyst points out, such a victory will help maintain the balance of power within the elite, especially after the obvious attack by the presidential administration on the ambitions of Dariga Nazarbayeva (Asar party).
Mr. Karin agrees with this assessment: not a single political force can be satisfied with the election results, which may lead to an increase in revanchist sentiment in elite groups. Everyone will seek to replay the situation again and correct the mistakes made. Thus, political forces will aggravate tensions and enter the conflict phase at an accelerated pace.