At Stake in this Referendum
On 5 June 2022, Kazakh voters will head to the polls to participate in a referendum, domestically regarded as the “Republican Referendum” on whether to approve a raft of amendments and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The question on the ballot is as follows:
“Do you accept the amendments and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan set forth in the draft Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On amendments and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan”, published in the media on May 6, 2022?”
Kazakh voters may indicate their preference by responding “YES” or “NO” to referendum questions.
- Chief of State: President Kasym-Zhomart TOKAYEV (since 12 June 2019)
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Alikhan SMAILOV (since 27 June 2019)
- Assembly: The Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Qazaqstan Respublikasynyñ Parlamentı / Парламент Республики Казахстан) is a bicameral legislature consisting of the 49-seat upper house, or the Senate (Senat / сенат), and the 107-seat lower house, or Mazhilis (Mäjılıs / Мәжіліс).
- The President of The Republic of Kazakhstan is directly elected using a simple majoritarian system and serves a five-year term.
- The Prime Minister is appointed by the President following his or her confirmation by the Mazhilis (Mäjılıs / Мәжіліс), or the lower house of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Qazaqstan Respublikasynyñ Parlamentı / Парламент Республики Казахстан)
- The Senate (Senat / сенат), or the upper house of the Parliament, is comprised of 49 Senators. Fifteen Senate seats are appointed by decree of the president, while the remaining 34 seats are indirectly elected in a two-round majoritarian vote conducted among the oblast-level assemblies. Senators serve six-year terms, with half of all seats open for re-election every three years.
- The Mazhilis is comprised of 107 seats, 98 of which are voted upon directly by the Kazakh electorate using a system of proportional representation in a single national constituency. The remaining nine seats are indirectly elected within the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (Qazaqstan halqy assambleyasy / Ассамблея народа Казахстана), a presidentially appointed advisory body representing the country’s ethnic minorities.
- The previous elections were held to elect members of the Mazhilis on 10 January 2021.
Population and Registered Voters:
- Female Population: 9,308,652 (2020 est.)
- Is Kazakhstan a signatory to CEDAW: No
- Has Kazakhstan ratified CEDAW: No (acceded 26 August 1998)
- Gender Quota: A legislated quota in the Mazhilis (Mäjılıs / Мәжіліс) dictates that party lists must include a minimum 30 percent of female candidates.
- Female candidates in this election: N/A
- Number of Female Legislators: 29 (27.36 percent) in the lower house and nine (18.75 percent) in the upper house
- Human Development Index (HDI) Position: Rank 51 at 0.825 (2020)
- Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: Low
- Is Kazakhstan a signatory to CRPD: Yes (11 December 2008)
- Has Kazakhstan ratified CRPD: Yes (21 April 2015)