This year, the rural akims will be elected by direct voting at several regions of the country. This will be the first large-scale local elections in the 30-year history of independence.
In his Address to the People of Kazakhstan, “Kazakhstan in the New Situation: a Stage of Action” as of September 1, 2020, the President stressed the need to introduce the direct elections of rural akims. Now, the akims of cities of the district significance, villages, rural districts and villages will be elected by the people.
The Senate has enacted a draft of the constitutional law on elections. In this way, the population can elect the akims of villages and participate in strengthening the structure of local government. Currently, there are 2,345 rural akims in the country. After the law comes into force, 836 mayors will be elected by direct vote in the second half of this year.
From the history of the election of rural akims
The first direct election of rural akims took place in 1999 in Chemolgan. This practice was continued, and in 2017, the elections were held in a number of settlements. In the same year, the rural akims were elected in 136 villages of Akmola region, 129 villages of Almaty region, 77 villages of Aktobe region, 131 villages of East Kazakhstan region, 129 villages of Karaganda region, 95 villages of West Kazakhstan region, 72 villages of Kyzylorda region, 26 villages of Mangistau region and 138 villages of North Kazakhstan region. As a result, 1,413 people became the akims of rural districts in the regions.
However, the difference in this election is that the akim was nominated by the head of administration of the district, and since the people have not voted, they were elected by the deputies of the local representative body. At this election, the local citizens could not express their wishes. Many citizens who were elected by the deputies moved to another position or resigned soon. There was no responsibility for these actions, and there was no opportunity for truly active citizens to represent themselves in the village.
In previous elections, neither the electorate nor the deputies of the local representative body were able to elect a local mayor. The country's hope is in this year's elections.
The President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has signed the Law “On Amendments and Addenda to the Constitutional Law” On Elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan”. Now, every resident can use the right to vote directly in the election of the rural akims. The citizens are also allowed to nominate themselves for the position of rural akims. In addition, in accordance with the amendments of the law, a separate column “Against all” will be added to the ballots.
Now, the lawyers and political analysts see the ability of rural residents to run for the office as a priority. This clearly shows the ability of an individual to persuade the country. The political parties may also nominate the candidates among themselves. Thirdly, akim of the local district also nominates one candidate.
Who can participate in the election of rural akims?
In the future, 2,345 governors of different levels of the country will be elected in accordance with this procedure. About 18 billion tenge is allocated from the national budget for this purpose. In the first round, that means this fall, the residents of 836 villages will elect their akims. It is estimated that about 5 billion tenge will be spent for this.
There are different opinions about these methods. One of them is the opinion that self-nominees are less likely to be elected for this position. The second opinion is the inadequacy of the influence and resources of political parties. On the other hand, the experts say that the prevalence of riotism in the country may hinder the fairness of the election.
Of course, in addition to the fact that a person eligible to run a village must be over 25 years of age, have a higher education and no criminal record and is not registered as a neurologist or drug addict, his or her reputation and personal ability are important to the country. In addition to the above-mentioned opinions, one of the most important conditions will be the ability of the population to recognize the person and determine the authenticity of the information, to be open-minded and not gossiping.