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Administrative divisions (GPS Maps)

Geography

People and Society

Government

Economy

Communications

Transportation

Military


Ethnic Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation. The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th century, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1936. During the 1950s and 1960s agricultural "Virgin Lands" program, Soviet citizens were encouraged to help cultivate Kazakhstan's northern pastures. This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-ethnic Kazakhs to outnumber natives. Independence in 1991 drove many of these newcomers to emigrate. Kazakhstan's economy is larger than those of all the other Central Asian states largely due to the country's vast natural resources. Current issues include: developing a cohesive national identity; expanding the development of the country's vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets; diversifying the economy outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors; enhancing Kazakhstan's economic competitiveness; developing a multiparty parliament and advancing political and social reform; and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Kazakhstan
Conventional short form Kazakhstan
Local long form Qazaqstan Respublikasy
Local short form Qazaqstan
Former
Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type
Republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch

Capital
Name Astana
Geographic coordinates 51 10 N, 71 25 E
Time difference
UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Note
Kazakhstan is divided into two time zones

Administrative divisions
14 provinces (oblystar, singular - oblys) and 3 cities* (qalalar, singular - qala); Almaty Oblysy, Almaty Qalasy*, Aqmola Oblysy (Astana), Aqtobe Oblysy, Astana Qalasy*, Atyrau Oblysy, Batys Qazaqstan Oblysy [West Kazakhstan] (Oral), Bayqongyr Qalasy [Baykonur]*, Mangghystau Oblysy (Aqtau), Ongtustik Qazaqstan Oblysy [South Kazakhstan] (Shymkent), Pavlodar Oblysy, Qaraghandy Oblysy, Qostanay Oblysy, Qyzylorda Oblysy, Shyghys Qazaqstan Oblysy [East Kazakhstan] (Oskemen), Soltustik Qazaqstan Oblysy (Petropavlovsk), Zhambyl Oblysy (Taraz)
Note
Administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses); in 1995, the Governments of Kazakhstan and Russia entered into an agreement whereby Russia would lease for a period of 20 years an area of 6,000 sq km enclosing the Baykonur space launch facilities and the city of Bayqongyr (Baykonur, formerly Leninsk); in 2004, a new agreement extended the lease to 2050

Independence
16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday
Independence Day, 16 December (1991)

Constitution
First post-independence constitution adopted 28 January 1993; new constitution adopted by national referendum 30 August 1995, amended May 2007

Legal system
Civil law system influenced by Roman-Germanic law and by the theory and practice of the Russian Federation

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV (chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 22 February 1990, elected president 1 December 1991)
Head of government
Prime Minister Karim MASIMOV (since 10 January 2007); First Deputy Prime Minister Serik AKHMETOV (since 20 January 2011), Deputy Prime Ministers Yerbol ORYNBAYEV (since 29 October 2007), Kairat KELIMBETOV (since 20 January 2011)
Cabinet
Council of Ministers appointed by the president
Elections
President elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held on 3 April 2011 (next to be held in 2016); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president, with Mazhilis approval; note - constitutional amendments of May 2007 shortened the presidential term from seven years to five years and established a two-consecutive-term limit; changes will take effect after NAZARBAYEV's term ends; he, and only he, is allowed to run for president indefinitely
Note
Constitutional amendments of February 2011 moved election date from 2012 to April 2011 but kept five-year term; subsequent election to take place in 2016
Election results
Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV reelected president; percent of vote - Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV 95.5%, other 4.5%

Legislative branch
Bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (47 seats; 15 members are appointed by the president; 32 members elected by local assemblies; members serve six-year terms, but elections are staggered with half of the members up for re-election every three years) and the Mazhilis (107 seats; 9 out of the 107 Mazhilis members elected by the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, a presidentially appointed advisory body designed to represent the country's ethnic minorities; non-appointed members are popularly elected to serve five-year terms)
Elections
Senate - (indirect) last held in August 2011 (next to be held in 2014); Mazhilis - last held on 15 January 2012 (next to be held in 2017)
Election results
Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Nur Otan 16; Mazhilis - percent of vote by party - Nur-Otan 81%, Ak Zhol 7.5%, Communist People's Party 7.2%, other 4.3%; seats by party - Nur-Otan 83, Ak Zhol 8, Communist People's Party 7

Judicial branch
Supreme Court (44 members); Constitutional Council (seven members)

Political parties and leaders
Adilet (Justice) [Maksut NARIKBAYEV, Serik ABDRAHMANOV, Bakhytbek AKHMETZHAN, Yerkin ONGARBAYEV, Tolegan SYDYKOV] (formerly Democratic Party of Kazakhstan); Agrarian and Industrial Union of Workers Block or AIST (Agrarian Party and Civic Party); Ak Zhol Party (Bright Path) [Azat PERUASHEV]; Alga [Vladimir KOZLOV] (unregistered); Auyl (Village) [Gani KALIYEV]; Azat (Freedom) Party [Bolat ABILOV] (formerly True Ak Zhol Party); Azat NSDP [co-chaired by Bolat ABILOV and Zharmakhan TUYAKBAY]; Azat and NSDP united in 2009, but the authorities have refused to register Azat NSDP as a single party; Communist Party of Kazakhstan or KPK [Serikbolsyn ABDILDIN]; note - currently suspended; Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan [Vladislav KOSAREV]; National Social Democratic Party or NSDP [Zharmakhan TUYAKBAY]; Nur Otan (Fatherland's Ray of Light) [Nursultan NAZARBAYEV, Nurlan NIGMATULIN] (the Agrarian, Asar, and Civic parties merged with Otan); Patriots' Party [Gani KASYMOV]; Rukhaniyat (Spirituality) [Altynshash ZHAGANOVA]

Political pressure groups and leaders
Adil-Soz [Tamara KALEYEVA]; Almaty Helsinki Committee [Ninel FOKINA]; Confederation of Free Trade Unions [Sergei BELKIN]; For Fair Elections [Yevgeniy ZHOVTIS, Sabit ZHUSUPOV, Sergey DUVANOV, Ibrash NUSUPBAYEV]; Kazakhstan International Bureau on Human Rights [Yevgeniy ZHOVTIS, executive director]; Pan-National Social Democratic Party of Kazakhstan [Zharmakhan TUYAKBAY]; Pensioners Movement or Pokoleniye [Irina SAVOSTINA, chairwoman]; Republican Network of International Monitors [Daniyar LIVAZOV]; Transparency International [Sergey ZLOTNIKOV]

International organization participation
ADB, CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer), ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Yerlan IDRISOV
Chancery
1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
Telephone [1] (202) 232-5488
FAX [1] (202) 232-5845
Consulate(s) general Los Angeles
Consulate(s) New York

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Kenneth FAIRFAX
Embassy
Ak Bulak 4, Str. 23-22, Building #3, Astana 010010
Mailing address Use embassy street address
Telephone [7] (7172) 70-21-00
FAX [7] (7172) 34-08-90

Flag description
A gold sun with 32 rays above a soaring golden steppe eagle, both centered on a sky blue background; the hoist side displays a national ornamental pattern "koshkar-muiz" (the horns of the ram) in gold; the blue color is of religious significance to the Turkic peoples of the country, and so symbolizes cultural and ethnic unity; it also represents the endless sky as well as water; the sun, a source of life and energy, exemplifies wealth and plenitude; the sun's rays are shaped like grain, which is the basis of abundance and prosperity; the eagle has appeared on the flags of Kazakh tribes for centuries and represents freedom, power, and the flight to the future

National symbol(s)
Golden eagle

National anthem
Name
"Menin Qazaqstanim" (My Kazakhstan)
Lyrics/music
Zhumeken NAZHIMEDENOV and Nursultan NAZARBAYEV/Shamshi KALDAYAKOV
Note
Adopted 2006; President Nursultan NAZARBAYEV played a role in revising the lyrics


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  Kazakhstan (Astana):


  GPS points from Kazakhstan (Astana)

Karabulak Severo-kazakhstanskaya Oblast'

Aman-sary-su Qaraghandy Oblysy

Novaya Karpovka Qaraghandy Oblysy

Kamosto Kazakhstan (general)

Zhanatlek Kazakhstan (general)

Marta Yuzhno-kazakhstanskaya Oblast'

Ozero Kuzlushkar Kazakhstan (general)

Pereval Toguzak Kazakhstan (general)




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