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Numerous foreign observers and reporters to monitor Kazakh polls

January 14, 2012, 13:21 UTC+3

Kazakh citizens in Japan will be the first to start voting

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ASTANA, January 14 (Itar-Tass) — Around 1,000 international observers and foreign reporters will monitor the voting at the coming general elections to the lower house of the Kazakh parliament, said on Saturday deputy head of the republican Central Election Commission Vladimir Foos.

“According to a representation of the Foreign Ministry, the republican CEC accredited 819 international observers. As many as 155 foreign reporters will also work during the elections. Thus, the voting will be monitored by 974 foreign observers and international organizations as well as members of the foreign mass media,” Foos specified.

“Observers will be given a chance to monitor without any hindrance all procedures at the elections,” he emphasized.

According to the Kazakh mass media, the largest mission was formed by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. It includes 309 observers. The CIS mission has 262 representatives, the mission of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly – 46, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – 15 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – 11 people.

Besides, the elections in Kazakhstan will be also monitored by observers from the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The Kazakh CEC invited heads of election commissions from several countries to observe the elections, including Russian CEC head Vladimir Churov who already arrived in Astana.

A total of 56 polls will be opened for voting outside Kazakhstan. For instance four polling stations were set up in Russia – in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Omsk and Astrakhan.

Kazakh citizens in Japan will be the first to start voting.

The ahead-of-time elections to the lower house of the Kazakh parliament will be staged this Sunday. Seven political parties will participate in the voting: Nur Otan (Light of Homeland), led by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Ak Zhol (Bright Road), the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan, the Party of Kazakh Patriots, Adilet (Justice), Auil (Aul) and the Nation-Wide Social Democratic Party Azat (Free). According to changes in legislation, at least two parties should be represented in the lower chamber.

Deputies to local bodies of self-rule will be elected simultaneously with the general elections in the republic.

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