Referendum in Kazakhstan: Political Reset or Political Redux?
Kazakhstan held a snap referendum on June 5th asking voters to approve a major overhaul of the country’s constitution in the wake of the violent events of last January. What exactly is in the proposed new constitution, and will it deliver the political reset that President Tokayev is promising? Or will the reforms he touts as heralding a new, more democratic political order end up being little more than a smokescreen for continued authoritarian rule?
Joanna Lillis is an Almaty-based journalist and the author of the book Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan.
Roman Vassilenko is Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Assem Zhapisheva is a journalist and political activist from Kazakhstan, the co-founder of masa.media and the founder of Til Kespek Joq.
Aigerim Toleukhanova is an independent journalist and researcher from Kazakhstan, former adjunct lecturer at KIMEP University and an ex-digital editor with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Kazakh service.
Moderator: Sebastien Peyrouse, PhD, Research Professor at the Central Asia Program in the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University.