At the snap meeting of the Consultative and Advisory body Dialogue Platform on Human Dimension under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan the major issue on the country’s current political agenda was discussed – a nationwide referendum on amendments and additions to the Constitution scheduled for 5 June 2022, Kazinform has learned from the press service of the Kazakh Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The event was chaired by Usen Suleimen, Ambassador-at-Large of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In his opening remarks, he stressed the great importance of the forthcoming poll and the fact that, in case the proposed amendments are adopted, on the basis of the updated Constitution, amendments will be initiated to other currently applicable legislative acts, or new laws would be adopted. The keynote speakers on the content of the referendum and the process of preparation for it were Secretary of the Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Yerman and Director of the Legislative Department of the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan Nazken Zhamaladin. The Secretary of Central Election Commission familiarized the participants of the meeting with the preparation process and work of his institution and 10,012 precinct commissions. The representative of the Ministry of Justice elaborated on the content of the amendments proposed to the Constitution. In the ensuing discussion, which was open and productive, the majority of civil sector representatives spoke in favor of a referendum on the country’s constitutional amendments. At the same time, some NGOs expressed alternative views. At the end of the event, Suleimen thanked the participants and urged continuing the active joint work of all branches of government together with the civil sector to further strengthen the system of human rights protection in our country. The session was held via videoconference and was attended by members of the Parliament, the Secretary of the Presidential Commission for Human Rights, representatives of the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Council, the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, interested ministries, Kazakh human rights NGOs, as well as guests of the platform – including representatives of the Referendum Assessment Mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) led by Tamas Meseric, the UN Development Program, OSCE, the European Union, the U.S. and Canadian Embassies in Nur-Sultan, and the USAID.