«Institute of the presidency: Successful experience of Kazakhstan»

At the end of the 80th of the last century during Perestroika in Kazakhstan there was nothing about reality and efficiency in slow Soviet state machinery. Time has changed and required other solutions, other form of government – presidential.

In independent Kazakhstan December 1, 1991 is considered the Day of the beginning of formation of institute of the presidency. This day in the republic, almost sovereign, national presidential elections took place for the first time. At that time already acting head of state Nursultan Nazarbayev polled 98.7% of votes. 10 days later the President signed the Law on renaming the Kazakh SSR into the Republic of Kazakhstan. And on December 16 the Supreme Council declared its Independence.

From 2012 Kazakhstan annually celebrates the Day of the First President. It is a tribute and memories to the event which became one of the most significant in the chronicle of the state- to the event which took place in fatal days of formation of the Kazakhstan statehood and gaining the desired sovereignty. Having collected nearly 100% of votes, Nursultan Nazarbayev laid the foundation to the long, thorny, but as a result to the successful movement of independent Kazakhstan which population put in it the highest trust and made a responsible and decisive choice for the strong and prosperous country.

Thanks to the institute of presidency in Kazakhstan it was succeeded to construct absolutely new, market economy answering to spirit of the time. Cabinet of Ministers was created, and the Supreme Council was transformed into modern two-chamber parliament. Then there was an Assembly of the people of Kazakhstan, and many other structures, important for the republic. The country passed to a new system of administration which both was necessary, and remains effective till today.

But cardinal transformations were necessary to make it possible. In particular, transition to a presidential government. To understand the importance and fatefulness of this step, it is necessary to imagine those conditions in which on a joint of critical eras were the Soviet Kazakhstan.

Chinese have one wise saying – “God forbid to be born in an era of changes”. And it is, perhaps, a fair saying. At the beginning of the 90th when the reorganization generated by Gorbachev in the multimillion country, at once became poor to unprecedented limits, everything was scarce. People stood in kilometer queues for bread, milk, sugar and oil. Millions went with receipts, cards and checks, dreaming of the most elementary things.

The most terrible was nevertheless another thing – people did not know what to wait for. Eyewitnesses of those events remember – everybody clearly understood and felt that the power of the CPSU endured an agony of the end, and the thought literally soared in air – the ship was left practically without helmsman, and could sink. The person, the personality directing absolutely in a different way that could hold it afloat was necessary. But there was not such a person, and the USSR sank, having buried under itself huge and the invincible world power.

But before the end, in March 1990 there was founded the post of the President of the USSR and Mikhail Gorbachev became the President, and generated a reorganization era. In April of the same year such position also appeared in Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party at that time was elected into new, presidential status. And, at the initial stage, in the conditions of totalitarianism and the implicit power of the Center and the Soviet deputies, the power of the newly made president was quite limited, actually formal.

And here Nursultan Nazarbayev did that historical and the only right step. Being the acting head of state elected to the presidency in April 1990 by the Supreme Council contrary to everything to strengthen institute of presidency and, thereby, to save the country from bigger ruin and bigger disintegration, he consciously went on national elections. In fact, having ahead four more years of powers – it would be possible to work quietly further, not to risk, – nevertheless, having wisdom of anticipation and undoubted determination, Nazarbayev put on own re-election and came for alternative elections before all people. For this reason the holiday of Day of the First President is also celebrated annually on December 1 because from this day the Head of state received the highest legitimacy, having been elected by the people, not by faceless deputies.

Process of formation of presidency in Kazakhstan lasted for years. Legal registration happened to adoption of the Constitution of the 1995, and the presidential government became a political reality after self-dissolution of the Supreme Council at the end of 1993. At this moment the power of People’s Deputies, elected in the Soviet era, ended.

In fact, being the first in public elected president of the country, Nursultan Nazarbayev who further received the deserved status of the leader of the nation, made the main thing – created the state, the independent Republic of Kazakhstan. Exactly thanks to his efforts the Kazakhstan society, its economy, the statehood outlined by frontiers which Kazakhstan actually never had is also created. All this thanks to only one person, the current president of the country.