Kazakh parliament passes constitutional reforms

Kazakhstan's parliament provisionally approved amendments to the country's constitution to reduce presidential powers in favor of lawmakers and the cabinet.

The amendments will become law once approved in a second reading and signed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Lawmakers said after Friday's vote that they could finalize the procedure next Monday.

Nazarbayev said this year that the proposed constitutional reforms would allow parliament to form a cabinet which would in turn have more powers to manage the economy, Reuters reported.

Following the reforms, the president will focus on strategic matters, foreign policy and national security and will serve as an arbiter between the branches of power, Nazarbayev said.

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