Speech by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at inauguration ceremony
ASTANA. KAZINFORM – A full text of the speech by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the inauguration ceremony has been issued by Akorda, Kazinform reports.
Ladies and gentlemen!
This year has been particularly important for our people. Kazakhstan is entering a new era of its development. The large-scale reforms initiated by us have laid the foundation for fundamental changes. The constitutional reform has been carried out. All spheres of state life have been comprehensively updated. Thanks to these changes, the people’s confidence in a bright future is growing. I personally saw this during my trips to the regions and meetings with citizens.
The referendum demonstrated widespread support for the new initiatives. The desire of the people of Kazakhstan for positive changes gave a strong impetus to our work. We will undoubtedly bring the initiated reforms to their conclusion. Under the new constitutional rules, the President will be elected for one term of seven years. This will open the road to power for a new generation of politicians.
I am sure this is the right decision. According to the requirements of the Constitution, a cardinal renewal of all branches of power is to take place.
The presidential election has opened a new political season. The election campaign lasted for about three months. During this period different opinions were expressed and meaningful discussions about the future of our country took place. Citizens have shown that they are not indifferent to their future. It became apparent that civil society had become a full-fledged institution. New personalities have appeared on the political arena. On November 20, the people made their choice.
According to the assessment of observers, experts and journalists, the election was fair and open. The turnout was especially high. Some citizens came to the polls with their families. The campaign has shown that the interests of the country unite us all.
At all times, the unity of the people was of highest importance for our ancestors. We showed the world that we are a modern and civilized state and that we remain faithful to the path of our fathers and grandfathers. Therefore, we once again proved the strength of our unity. My compatriots gave me their convincing support in this election. The trust of the people is the highest value, which cannot be compared to anything else.
I view the results of the election as support for my political platform and a mandate of trust for the implementation of plans for the coming period. To lead the country with nationwide support is a great honour and a huge responsibility. I regard this as a unique opportunity to fulfill my duty before the present and future generations in the next seven years.
The Kazakhs have a noble notion of «amanat» – the covenant. The trust of the people is the amanat entrusted to me. And to fulfill it is my sacred duty. I will do my best to justify the trust of the people and to turn Kazakhstan into a flourishing and prosperous state.
I express my gratitude to all the citizens who participated in the election. I am especially grateful to those who actively participated in the campaign, to the observers and journalists.
I would like to express my respect to the presidential candidates. Political parties and public associations have shown their willingness to unite at a crucial moment.
I would like to thank the members of the People’s Coalition, who nominated me as a single presidential candidate.
I bear responsibility not only before the citizens who voted for me, but before all the people of Kazakhstan. Popular wisdom says: «Why do you need wealth, if you have gained it unfairly; why do you need power, if you do not build justice?» This is my life principle, which I rigorously follow.
Today, as I kissed the sky-blue flag, I bowed my head to my wise people and honoured the ancestors who gave their lives for our freedom. I swore to be always faithful to the dreams and aspirations of my people, never turn away from my course and defend the national interests of Kazakhstan. The oath given to the people will be an inviolable guideline of my work.
The recent presidential election was a genuine act of patriotism. It confirmed that our citizens sincerely care about the fate of their homeland. The election has become a symbol of the triumph of the idea of justice, the triumph of the popular will, the beginning of a comprehensive renewal of our country.
The election set a new standard of openness and transparency of the electoral process in Kazakhstan and demonstrated the high level of political culture and maturity of our society.
At the polls people gave a positive assessment of the state development program for the next seven years. I am immensely grateful to everyone for their trust, and I am ready to faithfully serve our country as President. This is the highest honour and a huge responsibility.
For me, the interests of the state are above all else. I will do everything to justify the high trust of the people in the coming seven years.
Now our common goal is to build a Just Kazakhstan, where the law reigns and order is observed, and where the rights of citizens are duly respected. We have a lot of work to do to transform society and turn Kazakhstan into a developed country with truly democratic institutions. Only in this way will we form a new quality of the nation and strengthen our sacred Independence.
We are now at the very beginning of a thorny path. There is much work ahead. Every citizen must be aware of their responsibility for the future of the country. The modernisation of all spheres of life, from education to industrialisation, will be the guiding thread of our state policy.
The basis of long-term economic growth of our country will be new technologies, high labour productivity, and the creative initiative of citizens. The priority task is to remove all artificial barriers and restrictions that impede the entrepreneurial spirit of our active citizens.
Entrepreneurs should forget about gratuitous inspections of their businesses forever; they will only deal with tax audits. The state and business are natural partners. All those who illegally hinder the development of small and medium-sized businesses will be severely punished according to the law. We have to engage in real industrialisation, construction and modernisation of infrastructure.
It is important that every region of our vast country gets a new impetus to development. It is impossible to build a fair market economy, protect private property, develop competition and uproot corruption without a true rule of law.
Therefore, equality of all before the law is a key condition for the long-term progress of our state.
All issues, especially problematic and controversial, must be solved only through constructive dialogue, through discussions, first and foremost, in Parliament. The upcoming elections to the Senate and Mazhilis provide such an opportunity. We will invariably follow the principle «different opinions, but one nation».
We must do our best to strengthen the historical asset of our people which is expressed in the formula «unity in diversity».
Provocations that sow discord in society, undermine the unity of the nation and, ultimately, are directed against our state will be dealt with harshly.
We must build an effective state that meets the needs of its citizens and the demands of the times. This task is historic in its scope.
We will recruit new leaders from the real sector to the civil service, selected in accordance with the principles of meritocracy and open competition. We will actively involve the members of the presidential personnel reserve.
Our main wealth is our people. Therefore, it is extremely important to create all the conditions for the well-being of citizens.
In its development, our country will mainly rely on our own strength, but at the same time, we will actively develop international cooperation in various areas, including the attraction of foreign direct investments.
Kazakhstan will continue to pursue a balanced, constructive foreign policy aimed at protecting national interests.
Mutually beneficial cooperation and strategic partnership with neighbouring countries – Russia, China and brotherly countries of Central Asia, with partners in integration alliances – will be a priority.
We will make every effort to develop multifaceted cooperation with the United States, the European Union, the states of Asia, the Middle East and Transcaucasia, as well as with all interested countries.
Kazakhstan remains committed to modern international law and the UN Charter.
We will build a just state, a just economy and a just society. These principles were concretely embodied in my election program.
I attach utmost importance to every word and sentence of my program. My program is the result of long deliberation and searching. It is no exaggeration to say that it has passed through my heart. I know that the people support my initiatives and have high hopes for them.
I will make every effort to fully implement every item on my election program.
In this regard, I will sign a special decree approving specific measures for its implementation.
I will personally oversee the process of strict implementation of the program. Now is the time not to celebrate the victory in the election, but to work hard. Therefore, we must immediately get down to work. We must not relax under any circumstances.
In this regard, I would like to focus on a few issues that must be addressed first.
In my election speeches, special attention was paid to rural development. Today, about 40% of the population lives in rural areas.
It is not for nothing that the people say, «Auyl (village) is the golden cradle». Therefore, improving the living conditions of the villagers is a matter of honour for us. For this purpose, today I will sign a decree instructing the Government to draft a five-year rural development concept.
This will be my first decree during my new term in office as President. The Government must compile and systematise all the projects aimed at rural development. Then we will begin the necessary work.
Another important direction is the restoration of justice and returning all the assets illegally withdrawn from the country. To achieve this, the Government will prepare a draft law, which will regulate the necessary procedures to return the funds illegally transferred abroad.
The bill will also be aimed at eliminating the causes and conditions that contributed to the unjust enrichment and illegal transfer of assets.
All returned funds should work for the benefit of citizens. They should be invested in setting up high-tech productions, construction of schools and hospitals, and implementation of social projects. I will sign a decree to that effect today.
I believe that wealthy entrepreneurs will soon respond to the call to step up their social activities for the benefit of citizens.
In nation building, we strictly follow the formula «strong President - influential Parliament - accountable Government».
The presidential election launched a process of a consistent reset of all major institutions of power.
It was the first stage of a big electoral cycle. We will continue the systematic process of political modernisation.
Today I will also sign the Decree on the «Election of Members of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan«.
Thus, the next elections to the upper house of parliament will be a continuation of the practical implementation of the constitutional reform.
According to their results, part of the deputy corps of the Senate will be renewed on the basis of the principles of competition and openness.
In addition, today I will sign a Decree «On Certain Issues of the Supreme Audit Chamber of the Republic of Kazakhstan» as the next step in the implementation of the constitutional reform. The next stage will be its full-fledged transformation.
I will announce decisions on other important and urgent issues later. Once again, we have a lot of work ahead of us. It will be hard work for the good of our country.
I demand that the entire state apparatus accomplish this task honourably.
There will be a place in our ranks only for those who work selflessly and serve the country faithfully.
They can count on our support and the respect of society.
I would like to paraphrase a little folk wisdom: «Wealth and career are ice that melts in the hands. While deeds for the good of the country will leave a legacy that will be passed down from generation to generation.»
Every citizen should be aware of this.
The interests of the country are paramount.
I demand that all public servants perform their duties conscientiously.
Ultimately, professionalism, honesty and modesty must be our main principles.
If we fail to instil new values and develop better qualities in society, all reforms will be in vain.
The sky-blue flag, the passport and the national language represent the unity of our people.
Our ancestors united to form such strong states in Eurasia as the Golden Horde and the Kazakh Khanate, thereby writing glorious pages in our history.
Our people defended their freedom in the most difficult times.
The heroism of our Khans, heroes and prominent personalities is a vivid demonstration of this.
Kazakhstan gained its independence in a relentless struggle for freedom.
We must give a fair assessment of the historical figures who made a huge contribution to the creation and strengthening of our sovereign state.
Only time and history can provide an evaluation of the successes and failures. Time is the fairest judge, history is the measure of truth. That’s why we must avoid political inconsistency.
If we want to be a just state, we must evaluate the past objectively and learn from it. «Learn from the good, stay away from the bad.» This is the rule a forward-looking state must adhere to.
We must inculcate such noble qualities as patriotism, industriousness, curiosity, innovation, creation, solidarity and charity. I often talk about this.
In a Just Kazakhstan, a working person must be held in special esteem. It is important to raise the status of teachers, doctors, law enforcement, lifeguards, workers and farmers.
They must become the most respected citizens of the country. Only when members of these professions are duly respected and honoured will we be able to say that our society has truly been renewed.
Many people complain about the lack of true heroes in our time. But true heroes are not where there are bright lights and prolonged applause. Heroes are among us.
Every day, heroes stand up at the factory machine, operate public transportation, sit down at the controls of airplanes, put on the protective uniform of a lifeguard, rush to emergency calls from patients, and master military equipment.
Genuine heroes wake up early in the morning in the villages so that there is enough food on our tables to feed our young children and elderly parents.
Our heroes are entrepreneurs starting their own businesses, creating jobs and new opportunities for their employees and their families.
Our heroes are volunteers and philanthropists who give their love and energy, experience and knowledge, possessions and finances to the community for free.
All of them are the pride and hope of the nation. Our country relies on the working people.
To be in the vanguard of advanced nations, we must become a country that not only learns, but can teach others. We must not only take advantage of what others have created, but give the world our own discoveries and achievements. Our people have the potential, talent and skills for this. I am proud of our dynamic and progressive-minded young people.
Therefore, I am ready to repeat the words of the poet Magzhan Zhumabaev: «I believe in youth.»
Indeed, we must all support young people! It is the younger generation that will open the way to a bright future for our country. But in order to succeed, young people need to work tirelessly, to seek new knowledge and experience.
Only in this case will they become true professionals, will be in demand and respected, and will benefit society.
A person who follows these principles will not be threatened by defeat. The modern age speeds up time and compresses events. The true value of our words and deeds can only be determined by the scales of history.
The reward for all will be a clear conscience and the recognition of the people. I apply this formula first and foremost to myself.
We are a strong and self-sufficient nation with a rich spiritual heritage and tremendous creative potential for progress.
The great teacher of the East, al-Farabi called on the people to be just, to love the truth and value honour, to be moderate in their desires and always strive for knowledge.
I am sure we have a good chance to go down in history as the generation that was able to make a powerful breakthrough in the development of our statehood.
Everything depends on us, on how hard we will work.
Our duty is to leave a strong state to future generations.
We may still face many tests and difficulties.
But we will overcome all obstacles with honour if we manage to maintain concord.
Addressing the nation today, I wish only one thing: that our initiatives be successfully implemented.
Kazakhs are a people committed to their traditions.
In sacred Mecca, reciting the Quran at the foot of the Kaaba in memory of my ancestors, I asked the Almighty about one thing only – for the well-being of our country.
We van make our statehood inviolable only by preserving the welfare of the country, the unity of the people and the territorial integrity.
My sacred duty as a son of the Kazakh people and as the President of Kazakhstan is to keep these immutable values.
It can be said directly: any position is temporary, but the people are eternal.
I believe that in the next seven years, with the support of the people, I will fulfil my presidential mission with honour.
We have one homeland, one state, and one nation!
So let’s be united!
Let our country prosper!
Long live our homeland, the Republic of Kazakhstan!
Long live our people!
May our people be prosperous!
Long live independent Kazakhstan!