Browse the listing below to find government information for Kazakhstan, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Kazakhstan at its
Kazakhstan Country Page.
Independence: December 16, 1991 (from the Soviet Union).
Declaration of Sovereignty: October 25, 1990.
Constitution: August 30, 1995 Constitution adopted by referendum replaced a 1993 Constitution.
Branches: Executive (president, prime minister, Council of Ministers). Legislative (Senate and Mazhilis). Judicial (Supreme Court).
Administrative subdivisions: 17; 14 oblasts plus 3 cities-Almaty, the former capital; Astana, the current capital; and the territory of Baykonur, which contains the space launch center that the Russians built and now lease.
Political parties: Eleven parties applied for registration under the Law on Political Parties passed in July 2002--Ak Zhol, Otan, Civic Party, Communist Party, Agrarian Party, Women's Party, Patriots Party, Alash, Rebirth Party, Aul (Farmers), and the Compatriots' Party. As of April 2003 seven of these parties (the Ak Zhol, Otan, Civic, Agrarian, Patriots, Aul, and communist parties) have been registered under the new law.
Suffrage: Universal, 18 years of age.
Government of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is a constitutional republic with a strong presidency. The president is the head of state. The president also is the commander in chief of the armed forces and may veto legislation that has been passed by the Parliament. President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been in office since Kazakhstan became independent, won a new 7-year term in the 1999 election that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said fell short of international standards. The prime minister, who serves at the pleasure of the president, chairs the Cabinet of Ministers and serves as Kazakhstan's head of government. There are four deputy prime ministers and 14 ministers in the Cabinet. Daniyal K. Akhmetov became prime minister in June 2003.
Kazakhstan has a bicameral parliament, comprised of a Lower House (the Mazhilis) and upper house (the Senate). Single mandate districts popularly elect the 77-seat Mazhilis, with 10 members elected by party-list vote. The Senate has 39 members. Two senators are selected by each of the elected assemblies (Maslikhats) of Kazakhstan's 16 principal administrative divisions (14 regions, or Oblasts, plus the cities of Astana and Almaty). The president appoints the remaining seven senators. Mazhilis deputies and the government both have the right of legislative initiative, though the government proposes most legislation considered by the parliament.
Political parties have traditionally played little role in local politics, where personal and family ties are more important. Eleven parties, both pro-presidential and opposition parties, applied for re-registration under the 2002 Law on Political Parties, which raised the requirements for party membership to 50,000 members. Seven of these 11 parties were officially registered.
Kazakhstan is divided into 14 Oblasts and the two municipal districts of Almaty and Astana. Each is headed by an Akim (provincial governor) appointed by the president. Municipal Akims are appointed by Oblast Akims. The Government of Kazakhstan transferred its capital from Almaty to Astana on June 10, 1998.