The right to participate in the government, the right to elect and be elected into governmental agencies and institutions of local government are established in Article 33 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and also in Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Head of the government, Parliament, and local representative institutions are chosen on an electoral basis. Elections of the President, deputies of the Majilis of Parliament and Maslikhat of the Republic are held on the basis of the universal, equal, and direct electoral right by secret ballot. Elections of deputies of the Senate of Parliament are held on the basis of the indirect electoral right by secret ballot.
Citizens of Kazakhstan have active voting rights upon reaching 18 years of age, despite their parentage, social, official, and material status, sex, race, nationality, language, religion, beliefs, place of residence, and any other circumstances.
In harmony with Paragraph 3 Article 33 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the right to elect and be elected, to participate in the all-nation referendum shall not extend to the citizens judged incapable by a court as well as those held in places of confinement on a court’s sentence. According to Paragraph 4 of Article 4 of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On Elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan,” (further referred to as “the Law on Elections”) individuals having previous convictions which have not been acquitted or withdrawn according to the procedure established by law may not be candidates for the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, included on party lists, the Maslikhat, and also candidates for membership in any other institution of local government.
The Constitution establishes a residential qualification, an age requirement, and a series of other requirements for candidates for electoral office.
The President may be a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan, by birth not younger than 40 years of age, freely speaking the State language, and having lived in Kazakhstan the last 15 years.
A deputy of Parliament may be an individual who is a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan and who has continually lived on its territory the last 10 years. A deputy of the Senate of Parliament may be an individual who has reached 30 years of age, having a higher education and length of service of not less than five years, and has been a permanent resident for not less than three years on the territory of the respective oblast, major city or the capital of the Republic. A deputy of the Majilis of Parliament may be an individual who has reached 25 years of age.
A deputy of the Maslikhat may be elected by citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan when he has reached 20 years of age.
In Kazakhstan, there is a four-level system of electoral commissions. In all, in the Republic of Kazakhstan there are 13,283 electoral commissions, in which work 92,981 people.
It would be good to note the fact that in the sphere of the guaranteeing the active electoral right of citizens it is necessary to improve conditions for the participation in elections and referendums by individuals with limitations (handicapped). This involves the installation of ramps at voting points, the use of special voting ballets for blind voters, and the application of new technology for voting by handicapped individuals. In this connection, it would be beneficial to study corresponding foreign experience (uppermost, USA and countries of the European Union) and implement a corresponding legislative basis for the guarantee of full participation of the handicapped in the electoral process.