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ASTANA, January 15 (Itar-Tass) —— The early parliamentary election is over in twelve regions of Kazakhstan. The vote will last for another hour in four regions located in another time zone.
The Central Elections Commission reported a record high turnout of 71.98% as of 6:00 p.m. local time (4:00 p.m. Moscow time). The indicator stood at 64.56% by that hour in the previous election in August 2007.
The main election intrigue is whether any other party but the ruling Nur Otan may pass the 7% election threshold. Anyway, the latest amendment binds the parliament to have representatives of no less than two parties. Nur Otan’s first runner-up will have parliament seats. Some local experts say that a third party may win parliament seats too.
Results of exit polls will be posted after midnight. The Kazakh Central Elections Commission will publish its preliminary report on Monday afternoon, while the official report will be available from January 22 to 25.
Seven parties – Nur Otan led by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Ak Zhol, the Communist Party, the Party of Patriots, Adilet, Auyl and the Common Social Democratic Party whose candidates also include members of Azat – participate in the early election.
Kazakhstan also elects deputies of local councils.