Kazakhstan – Constitutional Amendment

I am having difficulty posting from my laptop while I am away. So, please forgive me if the posts are less regular than normal for a while.

RFE/RL is reporting that there has been a constitutional revision in Kazakhstan According to the report, President Nursultan Nazarbayev is now officially known as the “leader of the nation”. In addition, RFE/RL reports that the “legislation gives Nazarbaev final say in the country’s domestic and foreign policy in the event that he leaves office, and also provides ‘the first president of Kazakhstan’ [i.e. Nazarbaev] with lifetime immunity from investigation or prosecution”.

The amendment seems to have come somewhat out of the blue. Perhaps events in Kyrgyzstan precipitated the clause concerning immunity from investigation or prosecution. There is speculation to this effect at another website.

In the RFE/RL report, there is also mention of a law, though not, I believe, a constitutional law, that was passed in 2001 that contains the following remarkable clause: the ‘first president’s’ approval of new legislation is mandatory, even if he is no longer president! I cannot think of an equivalent law anywhere else.

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