In Kazakhstan, at the end of the perestroika 80s of the last century, there was no talk of specifics and effectiveness in a slow, Soviet-style overweight state apparatus. But times have changed and other decisions were needed the new form of government is presidential.
December 1, 1991 is deservedly considered the day of the beginning of the establishment of the institution of presidency in independent Kazakhstan. It was on this day in the republic, almost sovereign, that the first-ever presidential elections were held for the first time. At that time, the current head of state, Nursultan Nazarbayev, won 98.7% of the votes. After 10 days, the President signed the Law on renaming the Kazakh SSR to the Republic of Kazakhstan. And on December 16, the Supreme Council declared its independence.
Since 2012, Kazakhstan has annually celebrated the Day of the First President. This is a tribute and memory to the event, which has become one of the most significant in the annals of the entire state – An event that took place in the fateful days of the formation of Kazakhstani statehood and the attainment of the desired sovereignty. Gaining nearly 100% of the vote, Nursultan Nazarbayev marked the beginning of a long, thorny, but ultimately successful movement of an independent Kazakhstan, whose population had the highest confidence and made a responsible and decisive choice in favor of a strong and prosperous country.
Thanks to the institution of the presidency in Kazakhstan, it was possible to build a completely new, market economy that responds to the spirit of its time. A cabinet was created, and the then Supreme Council was transformed into a modern bicameral parliament. Then came the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, and many other important structures for the republic. The country has moved to a new management system, which both was necessary and remains effective and necessary to this day.
But in order to make all this possible, radical transformations were needed, in particular, the transition to a presidential form of government. To understand the significance and fatefulness of this step, it is necessary to fully imagine the conditions in which Soviet Kazakhstan was at the junction of turning points.
The Chinese have one wise saying – “God forbidbeing born in an era of change.” And this is, perhaps, a fair statement. In the early 90s, when perestroika, born of Gorbachev, in a multimillion country,impoverished to unprecedented limits, was in full swing at the time, everythingwas in short supply. People stood in long queues for bread, milk, sugar andbutter. Millions went with receipts, cards and vouchers, dreaming about themost elementary.
The worst thing was still different – people did not know what to expect. Eyewitnesses of those events recall – everyone clearly understood and felt that the power of the CPSU was going through the agony of its end, and the thought literally soared in the air – the ship was left almost without a helmsman, and could sink. What was needed was a man, a personality, who could keep it afloat, guiding in a completely different way. But there was no such person on a national scale, and the USSR nevertheless sank, burying a huge and previously unbeatable world power.
But just before the end, in March 1990, the post of President of the USSR was established – it became Mikhail Gorbachev, and gave birth to the era of perestroika. In April of the same year, such a post appeared in Kazakhstan – at the time the first secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee Nursultan Nazarbayev was elected to the old post in a new presidential status. Moreover, at the initial stage, even under the conditions of totalitarianism and the unquestioning authority of the Center and Soviet deputies, the new president’s power was fairly limited, almost formal.
And here Nursultan Nazarbayev makes the same historical and only right step. As the acting head of state elected to the presidency as early as the Supreme Council in April 1990, despite everything, in order to strengthen the institution of the presidency and thereby save the country from greater disruption and greater decay, he deliberately goes to general elections. In fact, having four years of authority ahead, one could work calmly without taking any risks, nevertheless, with the wisdom of foresight and undoubted determination, Nazarbayev puts on his own re-election and comes to alternative elections before the whole nation. That is why the celebration of the Day of the First President is celebrated annually on December 1, because it was from that day that the Head of State received the highest legitimacy, being elected, as it should be, by the people, and not by faceless deputies.
The process of forming the presidency in Kazakhstan lasted for years. The legal formalization took place with the adoption of the 1995 Constitution, and the presidential form of government became political reality after the Supreme Council’s self-dissolution at the end of the 93rd. At this moment, the power of the people’s deputies elected during the Soviet era is over.
In fact, being the first nationally elected president of the country, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who later received and deserved the status of leader of the nation, made the most important thing – he created a state, an independent Republic of Kazakhstan. It is thanks to his efforts that Kazakhstani society was created, the economy was created, the statehood itself, outlined by state borders, which Kazakhstan also never actually had. All this thanks to only one person, the current president of the country. /// nCa, 9 December 2018