Law on Political Parties (2002)

LAW

OF THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN

On Political Parties

This Law establishes the legal framework for foundation of political parties, defines their rights and obligations, provides for guarantees of their activities, and governs relationship between political parties and governmental agencies and other organizations.

Chapter 1. General provisions

Article 1. The concept of a political party

1. A political party shall mean a voluntary association of citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which expresses the political will of citizens and various social groups with a view to representing their interest at representative and executive governmental authorities, local authorities and to participating in the foundation thereof.

2. A political party shall not be entitled to act on behalf of the nation.

Article 2. The legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan governing activities of political parties

1. The legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan governing activities of political parties shall be based on the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan and shall consist in the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Kazakhstan, this Law and other standard legal acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

2. Political parties shall enjoy equal protection of the law.

Article 3. The right to associate into political parties

1. Citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan shall have the right to freely associate into political parties.

2. A citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan may be a member of only one political party.

3. The fact of membership in a political party may not serve as the ground for limitation of the rights or freedoms of a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

4. Everyone shall have the right to decide whether or not to state their affiliation to a political party.

Article 4. Political parties and the State

1. The State shall enforce the rights and lawful interest of political parties.

2. Unlawful interference of the State with affairs of political parties, or that of political parties with affairs of the State, shall not be permitted. No functions of governmental authorities may be commissioned to any political party.

3. No citizen may be required to state in any manner whatsoever, including in official documents, their party affiliation.

4. No Parliament deputy or Government member of the Republic of Kazakhstan shall be entitled to hold an office of profit with any political parties.

5. When fulfilling their duties, civil servants, except for deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan elected on the basis of party lists, shall be guided by legislative requirements of the Republic of Kazakhstan and shall not be bound by requirements or decisions of political parties and their bodies.

6. The legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan governing matters of labor, social protection and security shall apply to the persons working on a regular basis in bodies of political parties.

Article 5. Grounds for foundation and activities of political parties

1. Political parties shall pursue their activities being guided by principles of voluntarism, equality of rights, self-government, lawfulness and openness. Political parties shall be free in determining their internal structures, objectives, forms and procedures of their activities, except as otherwise established by this Law.

2. In pursuing their activities, political parties must not violate the human and civil rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

3. Political parties must create for citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan that are members of a political party, equal opportunities of representation in its governing bodies, on lists of candidates for deputies and other elective offices in governmental authorities and local self-government agencies.

4. The organizational structure of political parties shall be based on the territorial principle.

5. The governing bodies of political parties and of their structural divisions (branches and representative offices) must be located within the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

6. Political parties of other states shall be prohibited from engaging in any activities within the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

7. The foundation and activities of any political party, whose objectives or actions are directed at the overthrowing the constitutional form of government or violating the integrity of the Republic of Kazakhstan, or which are detrimental to the security of the state, or foment social, racial, ethnic, religious, class or tribal discord, shall be prohibited.

8. No political party may be founded on the basis of a particular profession, race, nationality, ethnic origin or religion, and no local organization of a political party may be founded within any governmental or local self-government authorities.

9. No militarized political party or militarized unit under a political party may be founded or exist.

10. The dissemination of a political party's program statements or charter principles within the educational process in educational organizations shall be prohibited.

Chapter 2. Foundation, reorganization and liquidationof a political party

Article 6. Foundation of a political party

1. A political party may be founded on the initiative of a group of Republic of Kazakhstan citizens which are at least one thousand in number, provided that they have convened a constituent congress (conference) of the political party and represent two thirds of the regions (city of republican importance, capital).

2. Lists of the stirring group of citizens to found the political party shall be submitted to the registration agency in the form defined by the latter.

3. In order to convene and conduct the constituent congress (conference), a steering committee may be founded consisting of at least ten persons.

4. The constituent congress (conference) shall adopt decisions on the foundation, name, charter, program of the political party, and on the foundation of its governing bodies.

5. A political party carries out its charter activities after undergoing state registration.

Article 7. The name and symbols of a political party

1. The title of a political party shall contain the words "political party" or "party", and these words can be used only in the name of a political party.

Both the full and abbreviated names of a political party and its symbols must differ from those of governmental agencies, political parties registered in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

2. The name of a political party may contain neither any indication of nationality, ethnic, religious, regional, community or gender characteristics, nor the name and surname of its leader or of any historic figure.

3. No political party shall be permitted to use the national symbols of the Republic of Kazakhstan or of any other state as their own symbols.

4. A political party may use emblems, flags, anthems, pennons, badges as their symbols.

5. The symbols of a political party may not serve the purpose of propagandizing anti-Constitutional and illegal goals.

6. The charter on a political party must contain the description and sketches of such party’s symbols.

Article 8. Members of a political party

1. Any citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who has reached the age of eighteen, may be a member of a political party.

2. No foreigners or stateless persons may be members of a political party, and collective membership shall not be permitted.

3. No military personnel, employees of national security agencies, or judges may be members of, or support, a political party.

4. The membership of a political party shall be voluntary, individual and registered.

5. Acceptance to a political party is done on the basis of a written application according to the registration form established by the body performing the state registration of a political party.

6. Membership of a political party cannot be limited on professional, social. race. tribal, national or religious basis, or dependent on sex and property status.

7. Members of a political party have the right to elect and be elected in executive bodies of a political party, receive information on activities of a political party and its executive bodies.

8. Death, quitting a party, expelling from a party, joining another party shall serve as a basis of termination of membership in a political party.

Article 9. The charter of a political party

1. The charter of a political party shall include:

1) the name, objectives, tasks and description of the symbols of the political party;

2) location of the central apparatus of a political party;

3) the terms and procedure for joining the political party and termination of membership, and also the rights and obligations of its members;

4) the procedure for registration of members of the political party;

5) the procedure for foundation, reorganization and liquidation of the political party and its structural subdivisions (branches and representations);

6) the election procedure for the governing and auditing bodies of the political party and its structural subdivisions (branches and representations), and also the terms of office and reference of such bodies;

7) the procedure for amending the charter and program of the political party;

8) the procedure for nomination of candidates (lists of candidates) for deputies and other elective offices at governmental authorities and local self-government agencies on behalf of the political party;

9) the grounds for withdrawal or rotation of political party’s nominee deputies within the territory of the single national constituency;

10) the rights of a political party and its structural subdivisions (branches and representations) related to cash and other assets management; the financial liability and reporting procedure of the political party and its structural subdivisions (branches and representations).

2. The charter of a political party may also contain other requirements related to its activity and not contradicting the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

3. All amendments to the charter of a political party shall be subject to state registration.

Article 10. State registration of a political party

1. The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan shall be responsible for state registration of a political party.

2. A political party shall have its structural subdivisions (branches and representations) recorded with the respective local institutions of justice within six months of state registration of the political party.

3. Failure to comply with Point 10.2 of this Article shall entail cancellation of state registration of the political party in the procedure established the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

4. Registration and re-registration of a political party, and recordation of its structural divisions (branches and representative offices) must be carried out in the procedure and within the periods defined by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan governing state registration of legal entities.

5. To obtain state registration, a political party must have at least fifty thousand members representing structural subdivisions (branches and representations) of the party in all oblasts (city of republican importance, capital) with the number of members not less than 700 in each of them.

6. A political party shall submit the following documents to a registering authority to obtain state registration:

1) an application in the form defined by the registering authority;

2) two copies of the charter and the program of the political party signed by its leader;

3) the minutes of the constituent congress (conference) of the political party;

4) lists of members of the political party in the form defined by the registered authority and in accordance with the requirement contained in item 4 of this Article;

5) confirmation of payment of the fee for state registration of the legal entity.

7. The documents required for state registration of a political party must be submitted to the registering authority within two months of the date of the political party’s constituent congress (conference).

8. The validity of state registration may be suspended on the grounds established by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on state registration of legal entities.

Article 11. Refusal to complete state registration of a political party

1. Refusal of state registration of a political party, its structural subdivisions (branches and representations) is possible on the basis envisaged by legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

2. A refusal to complete registration may be appealed against in court.

Article 12. Governmental agencies monitoring the implementation of the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on political parties

The following agencies shall monitor the implementation of the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on political parties, and also the compliance of activities of political parties and their structural divisions (branches and representative offices) with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan:

1) registering agencies, which have been authorized to obtain on demand, or to have access to, records of a political party and its structural divisions (branches and representative offices), which records show the statutory membership of political parties;

2) tax authorities auditing the financial activities of a political party and fiscal control over the fulfillment by a political party of its tax liabilities;

3) other governmental agencies, as envisaged by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Article 13. Suspension of a political party

1. The activity of a political party may be suspended by court order for a period of three up to six months, in the following events:

violation of the Constitution or other legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan;

persistent activities, which contradict the charter of the political party;

a public appeal or statements made by the leaders of a political party calling to an overthrowing of the constitutional structure of the Republic of Kazakhstan, violating the integrity or sovereignty of the Republic of Kazakhstan, usurpation or retention of the power, detriment to the national security of the state, unlawful formation of militarized units, or such appeal or statement, which foment social, ethnic, racial, religious, class or tribal discord.

2. During the suspension period of the activity of a political party, its leaders and members shall be prohibited from appearing in mass media on behalf of the party, organizing and holding meetings, rallies, or otherwise speaking in public; and all payments from such political party’ bank accounts shall be suspended, except for payments under employment agreements, payments of damage caused by the party’s activity and payments of fines.

3. If the violations have been remedied within the established suspension period of the political party’s activity, such party may resume its activity.

4. The court, which has decided to suspend the activity of a political party, shall establish the fact of remedying the violations revealed.

Article 14. Reorganization and liquidation of a political party

1. A political party may be reorganized (through consolidation, merger, split-up, spin-off, or transformation) pursuant to the resolution of its supreme body in the procedure established by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the charter of such party.

2. Registration of a political party created anew after reorganization shall be effected in the procedure established by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

3. A political party shall be liquidated:

1) by a resolution of its supreme body;

2) at the proposal of not less than fifty one per cent of its members representing not less than half of the regions;

3) by a court order.

4. A political party shall be liquidated by a liquidation committee to be appointed by the supreme body of the political party or by court, and in the procedure defined by the civil legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

5. A political party may be liquidated by a court order, if:

1) it fails to comply with the requirements of this Law;

2) it fails to remedy the violations, on the basis of which the political party’s activity was suspended, within a period defined by court;

3) it persistently pursues an activity contradicting the charter of such party;

4) it pursues an activity, which is prohibited by legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan or during which repeated (at least two times) or gross violations of the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan have been committed;

5) the state registration of the political party has been invalidated because of revealed unreliability of any information contained in the documents submitted for state registration, or has been cancelled;

6) the political party has two times failed to participate in elections of the Majilis of Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan;

7) less than three percent of the active voters who voted for such political party at elections of the Majilis of Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan;

8) as otherwise envisaged by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Chapter 3. The activity of a political party

Article 15.Rights and obligations of a political party

1. In order to implement its purposes and tasks defined by its charter and program, a political party shall have the right to do the following in the procedure established by legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan:

1) to disseminate information on its activity and to popularize its objectives and tasks;

2) to amalgamate into voluntary associations (unions) and voting coalitions with other political parties;

3) to nominee candidates for the posts of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, for deputies of the Majilis of Parliament and maslikhats of the Republic (through its representatives in the maslikhats of the Republic of Kazakhstan) and for deputies of the Senate of Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan;

4) to create its own print media;

5) to hold meetings, rallies and demonstrations, processions and vigils;

6) to exercise other rights envisaged by this Law and other legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

2. A political party shall:

1) comply with the requirements established by the Constitution and other legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan;

2) ensure that every citizen has access to all documents, resolutions and sources of information affecting their rights and interests;

3) notify the registering agency of any changes to the seat of its standing body, or to information on its directors, to the extent such information is subject to inclusion in the unified state register of legal entities;

4) submit its financial activity reports to fiscal authorities on dates and to the extent envisaged by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Article 16. Bodies of a political party and its structural divisions (branches and representative offices)

The supreme governing body of a political party shall be its congress (conference), which shall be convened at least every four years.

A congress (conference) of a political party shall be convened with a view to:

amending the charter and program of the political party;

nominating members of such party for the post of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, deputies of the Majilis of Parliament; approving the party list of deputy candidates to be submitted to the Central Election Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the registration purposes;

electing the governing bodies of the political party;

approving the size of the membership dues.

The supreme governing body of a branch or representative office of a political party shall be its conference (general meeting).

A conference (general meeting) of a branch or general meeting of a political party shall be convened with a view to:

electing their governing bodies;

nominating deputies of the respective maslikhats.

5. A decision of a congress (conference) of a political party shall be made by the majority of votes with participation in the political party’s congress (conference) of representatives of all oblast (city of the republican importance, capital) branches and representations of the political party.

Article 17. The property of a political party

The property of a political party may include facilities, which are necessary for material support for its activity envisaged by its charter, and also organizations established at its expense, except for facilities prohibited by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

A political party on the whole is the owner of the property of the political party, including the property of its structural subdivisions (branches and representations). Members of the political party do not have any rights with respect to property of the political party.

The property of a political party shall be used only for realizing of purposes and solving of tasks envisaged by the charter and program of the political party.

Article 18. The sources of funding of a political party; use of apolitical party’s funds

1. The sources of funding of a political party may be:

initial and regular membership dues;

donations by citizens and non-governmental organizations of the Republic of Kazakhstan carried out according to the procedure established by the central executive body ensuring tax control over executing its tax obligations to the state, under condition that these donations are documented, and their source is indicated;

income gained from its business activities.

No donations in favor of a political party or its structural divisions (branches and representative offices) from:

any foreign states and legal entities, or international organizations;

any foreigners and stateless persons;

any legal entities with foreign participation;

any governmental agencies or organizations;

any religious associations or charitable organizations; or

any anonymous donors

shall be permitted.

3. A political party shall deposit its cash in accounts with bank registered in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

4. No cash or other property of a political party may be allocated among its members and must be used in accordance with the charter objectives. A political party may use its funds for charity purposes.

5. The members of a political party shall not have any rights with respect to the party’s property and shall not be liable for its obligations, nor shall the political party be liable for any obligations of its members.

Chapter 4. Final provisions

Article 19. Liability for violation of the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan governing activities of political parties

The liability for violation of the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan governing activities of political parties shall be imposed on individuals or legal entities, including governmental officials and executives of the governing bodies of political parties, to whose fault the respective violation has been attributed, in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Article 20. International contacts of political parties

Political parties of the Republic of Kazakhstan may establish and maintain international contacts, enter into appropriate agreements, join international non-governmental not-for-profit associations, except for religious associations, as collective members.

Article 21. Transitory provisions

Political parties registered before entering into force of the present Law, in case of non-conformity of their names to the requirements of the present Law, shall within six months bring their names into correspondence with requirements of the present Law in the order envisaged by the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan and undergo re-registration in justice bodies.

Article 22. The order of putting into effect of the present Law

1. This Law shall become effective on the date of its official publication.

2. The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On Political Parties" dated 2 July 1996 is hereby repealed (Gazette of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 1996, Nos. 11-12, p.260; 1997, No. 13, p.205).

President

of the Republic of Kazakhstan