One of the fundamental principles of democracy is – “the partition of power.” Its essence lies in the fact that the three branches of power: legislative, executive and judicial should be independent from each other. Only under this condition does the “checks and balances” system will start to work. In the theory of state and law, such system considered to be the best way to prevent excessive concentration of power.
Does the principle of power partition work in Kazakhstan?
I think, not fully.
Let’s start with the legislation. The parliament of our country consists of two chambers: The Senate and the Majilis. According to Article 50 of the Constitution, two members of the Senate are elected from the regions and cities of Almaty and Astana. A total of 32 members. However, along with them, the President of the country appoints 15 Senate members by his decision. In other words, one third of the upper chamber of the Parliament consists of direct placemen of the executive power, which is led by the President. This, of course, breaks the balance between the branches of power. I think, that it would be possible to start balancing it with the removal of this regulation. The Senate should have representatives of the regions of the country in its own.
Judicial branch. Here things are even more critical. The Chairman and judges of the Supreme Court are elected by the Senate by the proposal of the President. Thus, the leadership of the judiciary is dependent on the executive and legislative authorities. Moreover, the rest of the judicial system is fully appointed by the President of the country by the recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council, which he himself forms. It turns out that the whole judicial system in our country is completely dependent on the President of the country, in other words, on the executive power. In this situation, it is impossible to expect the courts to make objective decisions in cases related to state bodies and officials. The only right decision is to introduce direct election of all judges from the bottom to the top. Only such mandate directly from the people will allow judges to be really independent and to make decisions that sometimes do not suit the executive power and restrain it from arbitrariness.
As for the executive power, for a long time it has been asking for giving more powers to the akims(mayors) on all levels and the transition to their election. Certain steps have already been made towards it, but, unfortunately, the matter has not been complete. Although the scheme is simple: akims (mayors) are chosen by the population of the respective administrative-territorial unit; most government functions are transferred on-site; for this to happen local akims are given more power and financial independence; the latter means the transaction of part of the taxes and payments to the local budget; the central authorities will be responsible for development of a common policy in each of the spheres of activity and will have control over local authorities.
I want to believe that the authorities will finally move from talking to doing. The delegation of power from the center to the sites and from one vertical to the other verticals will find a real embodiment, which, in turn, will undoubtedly give a powerful impulse to the development of our society.