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Constitution is foundation for statehood, rule of law, stability, and prosperity: Kairat Mami

30 August 2018 09:00 450
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Constitution is foundation for statehood, rule of law, stability, and prosperity: Kairat Mami

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Today, August 30, Kazakhstan traditionally celebrates the Constitution Day. The adoption of the constitution in independent Kazakhstan is of paramount importance. Chairman of the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kairat Mami shared with Kazinform correspondent his opinion on the role and significance of the country's fundamental law and the need for the reforms that have been implemented.

- Mr. Kairat Mami, today we celebrate Constitution Day, why is this day important for all of us and what does the fundamental law give us?

- First of all, the Constitution is a fundamental law that stands above any authority, any circumstances or vicissitudes. The Constitution is the foundation for statehood, the rule of law, stability, and prosperity. Establishing the Constitution's supreme legal force ensures the balance between the interests of an individual, the society, and the state. Thus, the universal justice is achieved. At the dawn of independence, Kazakhstan also faced the critical challenge of deciding on the constitutional model. The fate of the young state depended on it. Amid the impending economic collapse and a large-scale crisis, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev put forward the initiative to adopt a new Constitution of the country. In that difficult period, millions of Kazakhstanis got united over that idea and were actively involved in drafting the Constitution. The current Constitution was adopted by a nationwide referendum on August 30, 1995, when more than 7 million citizens, which is 89% of the voters, supported it. At that time, the President of the country stated that the people's future was in the hands of the people for the first time in the history of Kazakhstan. After the fundamental law was adopted, all our country started abiding by these rules. This, indeed, is the process of conceptually new relations in the ‘authority-society-individual' system. Over the years, the Constitution of Kazakhstan has proved effective and ensured peace and harmony in the Kazakh society. That's why this day is important for all of us," Kairat Mami underlined.

- Just recently, "The Constitution: The Embodiment of the Values of the Rule of Law, Civil Society, and Modern State" International Conference was held in Astana. What is the role of such conferences in the life of our society and what can you say about its results?

- Constitution Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It emphasizes the special role of the Constitution in the life of society and state. This is another reason for a thorough comprehension of the fundamental law's significance in the country development and modernization.

Within the framework of the conferences, we discuss issues of further unlocking the potential of the Constitution, ensuring the rule of law, and the role of constitutional control bodies in this process. The conference was attended by delegations of international organizations, representatives of constitutional control bodies and well-known scholars from more than twenty countries. During the discussions, a lot of remarkable ideas were expressed. Plus, such platforms ensure that we understand and make sense of where the world is moving toward and where we need to move further.

- The Constitution of Kazakhstan has been amended several times. What are the reasons for the necessity to amend the fundamental law and to what extent they were needed?

- Kazakhstan has gone a very long way to gaining independence, and the constitutions that operated in its territory over the past hundred years are some kind of indicators that show the degree of development and independence of the state. Each stage in the development of a country is documented in the text of the Constitution. In general, the fundamental law of a country should meet the requirements of society and state development. While the necessary economic, political and other conditions mature, the Constitution itself also improves. Over the years, three constitutional reforms have been carried out. For this purpose, national peculiarities and advanced foreign experience were taken into account. All segments of the Kazakh society were involved in this process. Each time the constitutional innovations gave a hefty impetus to the modernization of the wheels of life.

- What are the principal directions of the 2017 constitutional reform?

- Last year, at the President's initiative, a large-scale constitutional reform was carried out. It is aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the system of governance and democratization of the political system.

It redistributed the Head of State's certain powers between the Parliament and the Government. The Parliament's powers to control the activities of the Government have been significantly enhanced.

The mechanisms for safeguarding the rights and freedoms of citizens have been strengthened. The reform also created the legal frameworks for the activities of the Astana International Financial Centre and for the improvement of the law enforcement system.

Additional tools for preserving the foundations of the statehood have been introduced. Presently, it is backed by significant changes in the legislation and is being implemented in real life. We should not forget that the provisions of the Constitution ensure the construction of a modern, democratic, legal, social and secular state. In this respect, the constitutional reforms that have been carried out let us significantly expand the powers of the Parliament, the Government and local representative bodies. I am sure that the potential of the current Constitution for many years will contribute to the further development of Kazakhstan and to making it one of the most developed countries in the world.


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