Political finance

General

How are political parties and politicians funded in your jurisdiction?

The main sources of funding for political parties and politicians in Kazakhstan are membership fees for political parties, donations from Kazakh citizens and organisations, business income (eg, if the candidate also runs a business, he or she may use income from it (in the form of a donation) to finance the campaign) and state budget. The amount of electoral funds of political parties and politicians during the electoral period is limited by the Law on Political Parties (No. 344-II of 22 July 2002). Political parties represented in Parliament receive annual financial support from the state in proportion to the number of votes received in elections.

Funding of political parties and their election campaigns by international organisations, foreign legal entities and individuals is prohibited.

Registration of interests

Must parties and politicians register or otherwise declare their interests? What interests, other than travel, hospitality and gifts, must be declared?

Obligations to register interests arise only during the electoral period. Between electoral campaigns, political parties are required to publish their annual financial reports in the media.

Politicians and political parties are not obliged by the law to declare travel, hospitality and gifts, etc. At the same time, since 2017, Kazakhstan has introduced a system of general declaration of income, property and assets (including outside of Kazakhstan) for all individuals. Tax residents are obliged to declare possession of the following types of property:

  • funds available in foreign bank accounts;
  • real estate, registered with competent authorities of foreign countries (residential and non-residential buildings and premises, including apartments, houses, garages, country houses and lands);
  • securities, whose issuers are registered outside of Kazakhstan; and
  • participation interest in legal entities registered outside of Kazakhstan.
Contributions to political parties and officials

Are political contributions or other disbursements to parties and political officials limited or regulated? How?

There are no legislative and other restrictions on contributions or other disbursement to political parties and politicians if they are made by Kazakh legal entities and individuals. Any kind of support to political parties and politicians from foreign residents is prohibited.

Sources of funding for political campaigns

Describe how political campaigns for legislative positions and executive offices are financed.

The main condition for financing the activities of politicians and political parties (including political campaigns and any other types of activities) is that the funds must originate in Kazakhstan. All funds raised during the campaign have to be declared and accounted for in the income tax declaration as well as published in the national media.

Lobbyist participation in fundraising and electioneering

Describe whether registration as a lobbyist triggers any special restrictions or disclosure requirements with respect to candidate fundraising.

According to legislation, fundraising for political purposes carried out by a political party or politician should be linked to a specially registered bank account. Third parties are not allowed to raise funds with respect to candidate fundraising.

Independent expenditure and coordination

How is parallel political campaigning independent of a candidate or party regulated?

Owing to the underdevelopment of Kazakh political culture, there is no direct ban on parallel political campaigning in the legislation. The right to conduct political and pre-election campaigning is available to all adult Kazakh citizens and public associations. The state guarantees them the possibility of unimpeded agitation for and against a particular candidate or political party. However, unlike political parties or politicians, they are not required to provide special financial statements.