President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivers acclaimed State of the Nation address

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

President Tokayev with President of the European Council Charles Michel.

President Tokayev with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

President Tokayev’s address represents a major breakthrough with new and innovative ideas for opening a fundamentally new political direction for the country.

All illegally obtained funds that come to the disposal of the state as a result of corruption trials should be spent on the construction of schools.”
— President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, September 29, 2022 / -- On September 1st, 2022, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivered his State of the Nation address: a widely acclaimed package of initiatives considered necessary for the development and democratisation of society, judged to have shown the qualities not only of a visionary strategist and politician, but also of a President who cares about his citizens and their collective futures.

His unprecedented decision, putting the interests of the nation above, all will see extraordinary presidential elections will be held in the Republic on November 20th.

According to Kazakh political scientists the bringing forward of the election cycle is due to the need for a radical reset of the political system of Kazakhstan which corresponds to the logic of the constitutional reform supported by the majority of citizens at the referendum held in June on the adoption of amendments to the Constitution of Kazakhstan.

Growing geostrategic tension and turbulence of the world economy, as well as the unpredictability of the dynamics of the development of world processes, which multiply risks and challenges not only for individual states, but also for entire regions, are significant factors in favour of holding early elections.

Power in Kazakhstan will no longer be concentrated in the hands of one person: the Head of State must be non-partisan and unbiased: relatives cannot hold positions in state structures and state-owned companies.

Tokayev’s concept of a ‘listening state’ clearly works for Kazakhstan, as evidenced by his message, which addresses both the problems and the aspirations of ordinary citizens. In particular, the President decided to raise the minimum wage, which will directly affect the incomes of 1.8 million Kazakhstanis.

Special attention is paid to water issues: water scarcity is a serious obstacle to the sustainable development of the country’s economy. In this regard, it was proposed to revive the work of the Water Council under the Government with the involvement of educated specialists.

Thus, the President was instructed to develop a three-year plan for the development of water management to train the necessary experts and determine a strong university in this area.

It is also planned to significantly reboot the pension system by consistently increasing the basic pension rate.

Until 2028, the retirement age for women will be fixed at the level of 61 years. Together with the previously adopted decisions, this will make it possible to increase the total pension by an average of 27% by 2025.

Caring for the elderly is an indicator not only of a leader who hears citizens voices, but also of the fact that ancient traditions of respect for elders are observed in Kazakhstan.

The country particularly cares about the new generation: the President highlighted specifically the well-being of children.

Earlier, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared 2022 the Year of Children, and in this speech he launched a new program, the “National Fund for Children”, within which he proposed to deduct 50% of the annual investment income of the National Fund to special savings accounts of children under 18.

Upon reaching the age of majority, the accumulated amounts will be used to purchase housing and education. This will be a huge help to parents who do not have the opportunity to pay for a child’s education at a university.

A politician who responsibly approaches the leadership of the country understands that the education of young people should not be neglected - the future of the country depends on them. Therefore President Tokayev made the construction of new schools one of the priorities of the Government and the heads of regions, and expressed an excellent idea on this occasion, which was met with stormy applause from Government members.

Higher education in the country will become more accessible, thanks to the allocation of educational grants differentiated in size – from 30 to 100% – depending on the results of the UNT and other indicators, as well as the provision of preferential loans for training at 2-3% per annum. With many international programs and under the right conditions, it is possible that now students will be more interested in a University education.

Attention is also now being paid to the comprehensive improvement of medical infrastructure, and a system of voluntary medical insurance will soon be launched. The system of training doctors is also being improved.

The country is amongst the ten largest nations by area, and with such distances it is currently difficult to reach every villager and to provide medical services to everyone.

Stressing that an important element of the well-being of citizens will be the creation of a unified system of targeted social assistance, the President of Kazakhstan said that for the participants of the social insurance system, unemployment benefit will increase to 45% of the average monthly income.

Kazakhstan has been actively and effectively fighting unemployment for several years, supporting the unemployed in every possible way in training, finding employment and starting their own business. Initiatives and startups from young people are prioritised: proof of this is a separate mechanism of preferential microcredit at 2.5% per annum, which will soon be launched to support youth entrepreneurship.

The topic of reducing the participation of the state in judicial processes, increasing the independence of judges was touched upon. It is fundamentally
important to eradicate the influence of law enforcement agencies by eliminating all tools of their administrative pressure on judges.

At the same time, the culpability of the judges themselves for serious violations will be ensured.

President Tokayev called for commitment to the ideas of the UN, a fair trial and humanism, expressing the opinion that participants in the events of “tragic January” have the right to a second chance. The President offers a one-time amnesty for them.

This amnesty will not apply to those involved in organising the riots, or to those accused of treason and an attempt to forcibly change power.

President Tokayev’s address represents a major breakthrough with new and highly innovative ideas for opening a fundamentally new political direction in the history of the country.

Gary Cartwright
EU Today
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