Sergey Diachenko, Deputy Chairman, Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Astana, Kazakhstan)

The parliament, as any countrys supreme legislature, is one of the key elements of democracy. It passes laws, represents and harmonizes diverse social interests, identifies political priorities, seeks compromises, distributes the resources that directly affect the nations everyday activities, and, most important, controls the executive branch.

The parliament and its structures, which allow citizens to take part in political decision-making, thus determining their future, play a decisive role in establishing and consolidating democracy. The parliament is instrumental in establishing the rule of law, protecting human rights, and ensuring transparency of state administration and the fulfillment of international obligations.

There is every reason to believe that during the years of sovereignty, parliamentarism has become an inalienable part of the countrys political system, something which was absent at the dawn of its independence. Its development was a gradual process that included the quest for a balance of public interests and the checks-and-balances system. It was then that the republic acquired the legal foundation that made the liberal reforms successful.

I am convinced that the parliament as the legislature of our newly independent state should ensure the countrys sustainable and dynamic development and progress in all spheres of public life. This can be done only if the parliament uses the entire range of political and

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