NUR-SULTAN, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Kazakhstan has begun a new era in its development in 2019 and will continue its modernization and democratization drive, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Tuesday night in his New Year address.
"Our people have demonstrated to the entire world their wisdom, unity and commitment to the democratic choice," Tokayev said, referring to the country's presidential election held six months ago.
Tokayev became the country's interim leader after Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first president of Kazakhstan, resigned in March. Tokayev won the presidential election by obtaining some 70 percent of the vote in June.
He said Kazakhstan has maintained the strategic course set by Nazarbayev.
Over the past six months, the government has decided to increase salaries, pensions, allowances and scholarships, reduce the debt burden for more than 500,000 citizens, support small and medium-sized businesses, and create jobs, Tokayev said.
"I have adopted a number of decisions aimed at the further modernization and democratization of the country," said Tokayev, adding that "a serious transformation is expected in the law enforcement and judicial systems."
Moreover, the president said the opinion of each responsible citizen would be fully taken into account.