25 Apr 2019 16:08

Tokayev qualifies to run for president - Kazakh Constitutional Council

NUR-SULTAN. April 25 (Interfax) - The Kazakh Constitutional Council has found no impediments to acting Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's participation in the early presidential election.

The Constitutional Council said in a statement on Thursday that foreign postings "of diplomatic officials of the Republic of Kazakhstan and similar categories of persons appointed (elected) to positions in international organizations of which Kazakhstan is a member" could be included in the 15-year residence requirement for presidential candidates.

According to Constitutional Council Chairman Kairat Mami, "departure from the country on such grounds does not annul Kazakh citizenship and does not alter the permanent place of residence."

"In such cases, a person staying outside the republic is deemed to have taken temporary residence abroad unless there is information regarding them moving for permanent residence in a foreign country or on their requesting or receiving citizenship of another state. This situation does not lower the level of a citizen's stable political and legal connection to Kazakhstan resulting from the citizenship, and the citizen enjoys the entire range of rights, freedoms, and duties of a Kazakh national," he said.

Tokayev was a UN Deputy Secretary General and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) in 2011-2013.

By law, a Kazakh citizen qualifies to run for president if they were born in the country, are 40 or older, speak the official state language (Kazakh) fluently, have higher education, and have lived permanently in Kazakhstan for the past 15 years.

Considering the residence qualification, Tokayev asked the Constitutional Council to explain whether foreign posting of a citizen to Kazakh missions or international organizations of which Kazakhstan is a member can be included in the residence period.