|Preceded by||Supreme Soviet|
since 4 May 2020
Length of term
|34 seats indirectly elected by the local mäslihats, 15 are appointed by the President|
|12 August 2020|
The Senate of Kazakhstan (Kazakh: Qazaqstan Parlamentınıñ Senaty, Қазақстан Парламентінің Сенаты) is the upper house of two chambers in Kazakhstan's legislature, known as the Parliament (Parlamenti). The Senate is composed of elected members: two from each region and two from three municipalities which are Almaty, Nur-Sultan, and Shymkent.
Members of the Senate are elected on the basis of indirect suffrage by secret ballot. Half of elected members of the Senate are up for election every three years. Fifteen members are appointed by the President of Kazakhstan with the view to ensure representation for all the diverse national, cultural components of society. The term of office for the members of the Senate is six years.
According to constitutional norms in the Parliament of the fifth convocation, members of the Senate elected in 2011 and 2014 and those appointed by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2011 and 2013 continue to hold office.
The Senate of Kazakhstan was established shortly after the 1995 Kazakh constitutional referendum held on 30 August 1995 where voters approved of a new draft of the Constitution that formed a bicameral Parliament which included the upper house Senate in Kazakhstan for the first time. According to the Constitution, the term of office of the Senators of the 1st convocation was 4 years, while half of the Senators were re-elected every 2 years. In the aftermath of the elections held on 5 December 1995, 40 Senators were elected in which 2 each from 19 regions and the capital of Kazakhstan which at that time was Almaty from the mäslihats (local legislatures) members and 7 Senators were appointed by the President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Senate convened in first session on 30 January 1996.
On 8 October 1997, elections for 4 year term Senators were held in connection with the end of the term of office of the Senators who were elected for 2 years. After the past administrative reform and optimization of regions, 15 Senators were elected which were held in 14 regions and in Almaty. In aftermath of Akmola being declared as the new capital of Kazakhstan, elections for Senators were held on 11 February 1998 from the city.
On 7 October 1998, amendments to the Constitution of Kazakhstan were adopted, according to which the term of office of a Senator was increased to 6 years, while the other half of the Senators were to be every 3 years. In connection with the end of the term of office of the Senators who were elected in 1995 for a 4 year term, reelections took place on 17 September 1999, where the Senators were elected for 6 year term. The Senators elected in 1997 continued serving in the 2nd convocation until December 2002.
On 21 May 2007, amendments to the Constitution of Kazakhstan were adopted. The number of Senators appointed by the President of Kazakhstan increased from 7 to 15. On 29 August 2007, by a presidential decree, 8 new Senators were appointed, thus the number of seats in the Senate increased from 39 to 47.
In June 2018, the city of Shymkent became a municipality, which led to a Senate election in the City Mäslihat on 5 October 2018. As a result, the number of senate seats was increased from 47 to 49.
In May 2019, the status of "Honorary Senator" was established, which was awarded to the first President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev for "his outstanding contribution to the formation of the constitutional and legal foundations of the Republic of Kazakhstan as a democratic, secular, legal and social state, as well as to the formation and development of domestic parliamentarianism."
According to the Constitution and the Constitutional law "On the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan" the Parliament at joint sessions of the Chambers shall:
Parliament at separate sessions of the Chambers through consecutive consideration of issues first in the Mazhilis and then in the Senate shall adopt constitutional laws and laws, and shall:
The following shall belong to exclusive jurisdiction of the Senate:
Each Chamber independently without participation of another Chamber shall:
Main article: Chair of the Senate of Kazakhstan
The Chair of the Senate is a person elected by the Senate among the MP's by a secret ballot. The candidature on the post of the Chair is nominated by the President of Kazakhstan.
Mäulen Äşimbaev is the current Chair of the Senate.
Main article: Deputy Chair of the Senate of Kazakhstan
The Senate Chair has two Deputy Chairs who carry out tasks that are made by the Chair. The Deputy Chairs are elected by the Senate MP's who are nominated by the Chair.
There are two Deputy Chairs of the Senate who are Asqar Şäkirov and Nurlan Äbdirov.
A member of the Parliament must be a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan who has been a permanent resident on its territory over the last ten years.
To hold office Senators have to be at least 30 years of age with higher education and 5 years of work experience, permanently residing on the territory of the particular region, city of republican significance or the capital of the Republic for at least 3 years.
Powers of a member of the Parliament commence from the moment of his/her registration as a member of the Parliament by the Central Election Commission of the Republic.
At the first session of Parliament at joint session of its Chambers MPs take oath to the people of Kazakhstan: "I do solemnly swear to truly serve the people of Kazakhstan, to strengthen integrity and independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, to abide strictly by its Constitution and laws, to carry out honestly the high duties of an MP assigned to me".
Administration of the oath is done by the President at a ceremony in the presence of members of the Government, the Constitutional Council, judges of the Supreme Court, ex-presidents of the Republic.
Senators, along with all other MPs, must participate in the work of the Parliament and its bodies; they may only vote in person.
Member of the Senate exercises the right of a decisive vote on all issues considered at sessions of Parliament and its bodies of which he/she is a member.
Senators have the rights to:
Standing committees of the Senate within the scope of their competence are free to choose forms and methods of activity, interact with state bodies and public unions, examine and take into account public opinion, hold parliamentary hearings, government hours, conferences, round tables, meetings, presentations and other parliamentary events.
Committees of the Senate hold visiting sessions across regions in order to examine public opinion on bills under consideration by the Parliament and other pressing issues.
MPs visit for their or other regions quarterly and meet with different groups of people, get acquainted with the situation on the fields, answer citizens’ questions, comment on major provisions of laws adopted by the Parliament.
MPs’ inquiry is an official request addressed at a joint and separate sessions of the Chambers of the Parliament to state officials to obtain information on specific matters related to the competence of this body or an official.
Member of the Senate has the right to make an inquiry to the Prime Minister and the Government, Chairman of the National Bank, Chairman and members of Central Election Commission, Prosecutor General, Chairman of the National Security Committee, Chairman and members of the Accounts committee for control over execution of the republican budget.
Up to now members of the Senate have made more than thousand inquiries on various issues of state and public life.
Parliament’s involvement in international activity of Kazakhstan and engagement of MPs in identifying and implementing foreign policy of our country has significantly increased.
Senators actively participate in the work of such inter-parliamentary organizations as Inter-parliamentary Assembly of Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Inter-parliamentary Assembly of the Eurasian Economic Community, Parliamentary Assemblies of CSTO, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Interparliamentary Union, European Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly of NATO, Turk PA.
Senate of the Parliament makes a significant contribution to the activity of inter-parliamentary organizations and promotion of inter-parliamentary dialogue, enhancing integration of Kazakhstan into the world community, increase its role and capacity to shape decision making process in line with their national interests.
Involvement of the Senate of the Parliament in international parliamentary organizations: