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Resolution No. 1 of 12th February 2003 the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Concerning the Official Interpretation of Paragraph 3 of Article 50 of the Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution

The Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan represented by Chairman Yu. A. Khitrin, Council Members Kh. A. Abishev, K. Zh. Baltabaev, S. F. Bychkova, A. K. Kotov, and K. A. Omarkhanov, with the participation of: representative of the petitioner, Republic Parliament Mazhilis Deputy V. I. Makhalkin, representative of the Republic Government, Vice Minister of Justice of the Republic S. N. Baimaganbetov, member of the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic, B. S. Meldeshov, has considered in its open session a petition from the group of deputies of the Republic of Kazakhstan Parliament for the official interpretation of paragraph 3 of Article 50 of the Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution.
Upon examining the materials of the constitutional proceedings, hearing the speaker the member of the Constitutional Council Kh. A. Abishev, speeches of the representative of petitioners and members of the session, the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan established the following:
That the Constitutional Council of the Republic received a petition from a group of Republic Parliament deputies for the official interpretation of paragraph 3 of Article 50 of the Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution. The petitioner requests answers to the following questions in the interpretation of the relevant constitutional rules:
1) whether "from each province, city of national significance and capital city of the Republic of Kazakhstan" is synonymic to "based on one-mandate territorial electoral districts formed subject to administrative-territorial division of the Republic", in the sense that one-mandate electoral districts are formed within boundaries of an administrative-territorial unit;
2) whether the rule "elected on the basis of one-mandate territorial electoral districts formed subject to the administrative-territorial division of the Republic and having approximately equal number of voters" pertains to all one-mandate territorial electoral districts formed in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, or only to such districts of a territorial-administrative district, in particular in a province, national significance city and capital city of the Republic;
3) how to interpret the expression "with approximately equal numbers of voters".
When interpreting the rules of paragraph 3 of Article 50 of the Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution in respect of the questions set in the petition, the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan emanates from the following.
1. The Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution contains the fundamental provisions and principles for the electoral system, formation of representative authorities in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Thus, in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 3 of the Constitution of the Republic, it is specified that "the people are the sole source of the state power" and that "the people exercise the power directly through free elections and also delegate the exercise of its power to the state authorities". These provisions constitute one of the fundamentals of the constitutional system of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which are directly associated with the right of citizens to elect and to be elected to state bodies (paragraph 2 of Article 33 of the Constitution).
In accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 50 of the Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution, the Parliament shall consist of two Chambers: the Senate and Mazhilis acting on a permanent basis. The Main membership of the Senate is formed on the basis of the territorial principle envisaging equal representation in it of two deputies from each province, national significance city and capital city of the Republic of Kazakhstan who are elected at a joint session of deputies of all representative bodies of the relevant province, city of national significance and capital city of the Republic (paragraph 2 of Article 50 of the Constitution). Different from deputies of the Senate, deputies of the Mazhilis are elected on the basis of one-mandate territorial electoral districts.
The categories "from each province, national significance city and capital city of the Republic of Kazakhstan" and "by one-mandate territorial electoral districts" as used in paragraph 2 and 3 of Article 50 of the Constitution, are not identic with regard to their meaning but refer to different constitutional law chapters, that is to the administrative-territorial system and the electoral system of the Republic. They define different methods of forming the Chambers of the Parliament.
2. Paragraph 3 of Article 50 of the Republic Constitution establishes that "sixty seven deputies shall be elected on the basis of one-mandate territorial electoral districts which are formed on the basis of the administrative-territorial division of the Republic and with approximately equal number of voters".
It ensues from the above constitutional rules that the number of one-mandate territorial electoral districts must be consistent with the number of deputies (67) of the Mazhilis of the Parliament. One-mandate territorial electoral districts shall be formed with approximately equal number of Kazakhstan citizens having active suffrage right. In this respect, one should bear in mind that the constitutional requirement of forming one-mandate territorial electoral districts subject to the administrative-territorial division of the Republic is one of the fundamental criteria for the formation of electoral districts for fair elections of Mazhilis deputies. This obligatory requirement envisages the ensuring equality of voters numbers in all electoral districts within the territory of administrative units of the Republic as established by the legislation, which is consistent with paragraph 5 of Article 51 of the Constitution.
3. The provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 50 of the Constitution as regards "sixty seven deputies shall be elected on the basis of one-mandate territorial electoral districts with approximately equal number of votes" should be understood as meaning that electoral districts must be formed within administrative-territorial units with minimum differences in voters numbers. According to paragraph 5 of Article 51 of the Constitution establishing specific limits for the allowed deviation of voters numbers in different electoral districts is recognised as a matter regulated by a constitutional law.
On the basis of the above, guided by subparagraph 4) of paragraph 1 of Article 72 of the Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution, Articles 31-33, 37 and subparagraph 2) of paragraph 1 of Article 41 of the Edict of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, having the force of a constitutional law, "Concerning the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan", the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan with regard to the questions set in the petition, resolves:
1. That the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 50 of the Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution with regard to "sixty seven deputies shall be elected on the basis of one-mandate territorial electoral districts which are formed subject to administrative-territorial divisions" mean that one-mandate territorial electoral districts for the election of deputies of the Republic of Kazakhstan Parliament Mazhilis are formed within the boundaries of administrative-territorial units defined by the Republic of Kazakhstan legislation.
The provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 50 of the Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution with regard to "with approximately equal number of voters" should be understood as meaning that a difference in numbers of voters in one-mandate territorial electoral districts within one administrative territorial unit must be minimum. Establishing specific limits of allowed deviation in the number of voters in different electoral districts is regulated by a constitutional law.
3. That in accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 74 of the Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution, a resolution shall enter into force from the date of its adoption, it shall not be subject to appeal, it shall be obligatory in the entire territory of the Republic and final notwithstanding the case specified in paragraph 4 of Article 73 of the Republic of Kazakhstan Constitution.
3. That this Resolution shall be published in the Kazakh and Russian languages in official publications of the Republic.
 
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