By INS Contributors

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Kazakhstan is embarking on a series of initiatives that will bolster its position as one of the dynamically developing countries with great potential in the region which will enable better connectivity between East and West as well as the global economy in times of turbulence.

In his first addressed to the country’s Parliament of the eighth convocation on March 29, President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev outlined a number of reforms aimed at ushering in a new era of development starting with the domestic political reform aimed at creating an inclusive, pluralistic and representative political structure.

The reforms are based on the formula “Strong President – Influential Parliament – Accountable Government”, which underlies Kazakhstan’s state structure. This will lay the basis for a new civil and political culture being formed in the society.

The parliamentary election on March 19 was highly competitive and Kazakhstan has taken an important step toward a real multiparty system.

Naturally these processes are not self-declared but in fact are supported by the presence of more than 800 international observers and journalists observing the election process by visiting polling stations in regions of the country. They expressed their satisfaction with the election and the polling process.

This year, Kazakhstan will hold direct elections of akims (governors) of 45 regions and cities of regional significance. After that, elections of district governors will be held nationwide, giving Kazakh society for the first time an unprecedented level of representation at the federal, regional and local level.

Tokayev has urged the MPs to implement their election promises and programs. This will primarily determine the trust of citizens in government institutions and their faith in positive change, to fulfill the trust and mandate of the people for effective, transparent and progressive governance.

"Now there is a full opportunity for parliament to openly discuss the mistakes and shortcomings of the government. Parliament must be as transparent as possible in its work. Plenary sessions of Parliament on particularly important public topics should be broadcast live on national television channels," he said in his address.

The 69-year-old leader also emphasized the importance of improving the efficiency of public administration and the quality of strategic planning:

"It is necessary to attract highly motivated and highly qualified professionals to public service. In addition to the development of e-government infrastructure, it is also necessary to focus on further digitalization of the representative branch of government," he said, adding that a full-scale revision of the “Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy” will be conducted.

The Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy is a long-term economic development plan with seven long-term priorities to place the country among the top 30 global economies by 2050 through sustainable domestic development. 

He has set a strong agenda for improving and modernizing Kazakhstan through several key thrusts including encouraging business activity, economic diversification and improvement of production potential, improving the quality of human capital and protecting human rights.

Tokayev emphasized that the added value of underground resources must be maximized and it is crucial to develop the processing industry, oriented to the domestic market.