Sergey Diachenko, D.Sc. (Political Science), Deputy Chairman of the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Astana, Kazakhstan)

Today, with the democratic reforms moving ahead, with domestic political stability due to an effective presidency, and with clear prospects for the countrys social and economic development, the problem of sociopolitical consolidation has come to the fore, while political parties are tending to integrate into larger units.

In democratic countries, the political parties involved in various ways in state administration have an important role to play in shaping the power system. This stirs civil society into action, which, in turn, contributes to the way key sociopolitical issues are resolved. At the same time, it is commonly believed that elections are the main focal point of the political parties activities: by their very nature they are designed to win state power and govern the state. The parties are expected to consolidate society and to shape public moods in a constructive way to avoid social disintegration at the most trying and far from easy times, such as presidential elections. For obvious reasons, different political parties use different instruments to influence electoral preferences.

Kazakhstan is moving ahead along the road of democracy and democratic traditions; its party system has already covered a short, yet dynamic stretch of this road filled with all kinds of transformations. The parties have already left the initial development stages behind; they have withstood the test of several election campaigns and found their own niche in the republics sociopolitical hierarchy. The country has already passed the time when the political parties operating on the domestic political scene could not be described as a party system. It is commonly and correctly believed that at..

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