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Monitors praise Kazakh parliament election as "free, open, democratic"

March 21, 21:10 UTC+3 ASTANA
According to the Kazakh Central Elections Commission, preliminary results show President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan (Radiant Fatherland) party secured 82% of the vote
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© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Bugayev

ASTANA, March 21. /TASS/. The monitoring missions which worked at the March 20 snap election to the lower house of Kazakhstan’s parliament on March 20 said the polls complied with the local legislation and international laws.

According to the Kazakh Central Elections Commission, preliminary results show President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan (Radiant Fatherland) party secured 82% of the vote.

The delegation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) said the polls "comply with all standards, which are necessary for transparent and open elections."

The head of the SCO monitoring mission, Aziz Nasirov, said "the elections were open, free and democratic," adding that "no violations of the electoral legislation were registered."

"The election is currently being held freely, in a quiet atmosphere, at rather high turnout and in full accordance with the constitution of Kazakhstan," the Commonwealth Independent States (CIS) monitoring mission said during the polls.

Other foreign observers share the opinion of the CIS and SCO monitoring missions. Lithuanian observers pointed out that they saw "no violations", adding the mission was "pleasantly surprised with high voters turnout."

A total of 286 observers of the mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE monitored the election.

"It is clear that Kazakhstan still has a long way to go towards fulfilling its election commitments, although some progress was noted," Marietta Tidei, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Coordinator for the election observation, said on Monday.

Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov said they "will take into account all the assessments and recommendations."

"We are a young country and we know that our political institutes are developing," the minister said.

The Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan said 817 foreign observers monitored the polls.

According to preliminary data, Kazakhstani people voted as follows: 82.15% - for Nur Otan party, 7.14% - for the Communist People's party of Kazakhstan, 7.18% - for the Democratic party of Kazakhstan "Ak Zhol", 0.29% - for the political party "Birlik", 1.18% - All-National Social-Democratic Party, 2% - for the People's democratic patriotic party "Auyl".

The Central Elections Commission reported the turnout at 9,840 polling stations in the country and 65 abroad stood at the record 77.1%

The parties need to pass the 7% threshold to win seats in the parliament.

The final results of the elections shall be announced by the Central Election Commission by March 26.

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