Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Tuesday dismissed reports that he was planning a snap election after he sought clarification on a clause in the constitution covering the length of his term. In a video address published online, Nazarbayev said his request to the Constitutional Court on Monday had been a routine one meant to clarify gaps in sections covering the replacement of a president, an incumbent’s resignation and other areas. “Of course, everyone is interested… in the elections, (political) transition,” he said.
The results of Kazakhstan’s lackluster parliamentary elections are in and they show that three parties will have seats in the Mazhilis, the lower house of parliament. The ruling Nur-Otan party took nearly 81 percent of the vote; Ak Zhol, 7.47 percent; and the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan, 7.19 percent. Wait a minute. My mistake. I am so sorry. Those are the results from the 2012 parliamentary elections. The results of the March 20, 2016, parliamentary elections show, too, that three parties will have seats in the Mazhilis. Nur-Otan got 82.15 percent of the vote; Ak Zhol, 7.18 percent; and the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan took 7.14 percent. Not sure how I could have confused the two polls.
Many in Kazakhstan are not even sure what parties are contesting the March 20 parliamentary elections, other than President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s ruling Nur Otan. A flat and barely visible campaign season has done little to raise awareness or enthusiasm for a vote whose outcome — the renewal of Nur Otan’s ostensibly democratic mandate — is a given. Not that there is any shortage of things for politicians to talk and complain about. The government has not succeeded in reducing the economy’s reliance on the export of raw natural resources, nor has it been able to curb rampant corruption, which stifles individual enterprise. Accordingly, Kazakhstan has been laid low by the slump in oil prices, which has led to job losses, hit living standards and sent the currency plunging and inflation rocketing.
On March 20, Kazakhstan will hold snap parliamentary elections. While the OSCE election monitoring mission’s preliminary report notes several systemic problems, comments from the CIS observers mission present a different picture, one without significant flaws. As with previous elections in Kazakhstan and elsewhere in Central Asia, two narratives will predictably emerge. One will cast Kazakhstan as a young democracy: ”Look, elections!” believers will say; and the other narrative will pursue a more critical line. In the election’s mercifully brief campaign, most of the parties are toting the ruling party’s line. Although new energy is promised, the likely outcome will be more of the same faces and more of the same policies.
Kazakhstan: Snap poll called as President Nursultan Nazarbayev bids to extend his 27-year rule | The Independent
In an attempt to cling on to power amid discontent at falling oil prices in the ex-Soviet state of Kazakhstan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has called a snap election. Mr Nazarbayev, whose rule has been marked by allegations of human rights abuses and corruption, dissolved the lower house of parliament, urging the nation to consolidate at a time of economic hardship caused by the crash in oil prices. The election, originally expected at the end of this year or early 2017, will be held on 20 March. Political analysts say the early poll will allow the veteran leader to reaffirm his grip on power before discontent over a slowing economy reaches a peak.
Kazakhstan’s long-serving President Nursultan Nazarbayev apologized on Monday for winning re-election with 97.7 percent of the vote, saying it would have “looked undemocratic” for him to intervene to make his victory more modest. Sunday’s election gives another five year term to the 74-year-old former steelworker, who has ruled the oil-producing nation since rising to the post of its Soviet-era Communist Party boss in 1989. Central Election Commission data showed turnout was 95.22 percent. Television showed a triumphant Nazarbayev walking on a red carpet, smiling and shaking hands and greeting thousands of jubilant supporters at what officials called “The Victors’ Forum” held in a spacious stadium in the capital Astana. “Kazakhstan has shown its political culture to the entire world,” he told his supporters.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled the former Soviet Union’s second-biggest energy producer for more than a quarter century, won a fifth term by a landslide, an exit poll showed. The president got 97.5 percent of Sunday’s vote, according to a survey by the Institute of Democracy broadcast by the state-owned 24.kz TV channel. One of the two challengers was a senior member of his Nur Otan party and the other praised the president’s achievements during a campaign that international observers dubbed “practically unnoticeable.” Official results will be announced Monday.
Kazakhstan holds early presidential elections on Sunday and the only uncertainty over the result is the size of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s majority in extending his 26- year rule. Then the real struggle for power may begin. The veteran leader, who won 96 percent of votes in the 2011 election, is a shoo-in to beat two little-known opponents and win a fifth term. Voting starts at 7 a.m. local time and ends at 8 p.m. Preliminary results may be announced Sunday night, with a final tally due within 10 days.
For a country less than a week away from a presidential election, it’s awfully quiet in Kazakhstan. According to current President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan is a “paradise,” but Central Asia watchers are skeptical about the lack of competition and lack of policy debate. “There is not much currently being said about the election in Kazakhstan, mostly because there is nothing to say,” Luca Anceschi, a lecturer in Central Asian Studies at the University of Glasgow told The Diplomat. The early election, scheduled for April 26, didn’t come as a surprise. Nazarbayev also arranged early polls in 2011, 2005, and in 1999 (even though a 1995 referendum, shortly before scheduled elections in 1996, extended Nazarbayev’s term as president to 2000). Despite coy statements made in March that “[m]aybe it’s time for a change of scenery,” Nazarbayev chose to stand for election, again.
Kazakhstani legislation governing elections should be improved, a Tengrinews correspondent reports from the international conference in Astana dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of Kazakhstan referring to Aleksei Kartsov, an expert of the International Institute of Monitoring Democracy Development, Parliamentary and Electoral Rights of citizens at the auspices of the Interparliamentary Assembly of CIS. “The regulatory control of the election process in Kazakhstan has space for improvement to better comply with international obligations related to elections undertaken by the country,” Kartsov said.
Kazakhstan’s decision to hold early presidential elections in April, a year ahead of time, comes at a time of turmoil for the country. Generally considered a success story of the post-Soviet space, Kazakhstan faces a number of simultaneous storms, ranging from the declining oil price and fallout of sanctions on Russia to the general geopolitical instability resulting from the Russian-Ukraine war and uncertainty concerning Afghanistan’s future. Against this background, the decision to hold the election a year ahead of time raises the question whether Kazakhstan’s prized stability is in question. Any decision to hold early elections could seem to provide the incumbent with an added advantage and leave potential challengers scrambling to mobilize for an election they did not expect. Incumbency provides an important advantage in any country, and clearly, an incumbent president is at an advantageous position in planning for an election only two months away. This is no doubt the reason why incumbents in many countries have made the practice commonplace. In Israel, early elections were held in 2012 and another is scheduled for 2015. The United Kingdom, of course, has institutionalized the practice, and there, a Prime Minister is expected to call elections at the time that is most suitable for his party.
Kazakhstan is gearing up for presidential elections again, and in anticipation of this April 26 event, incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev, has accepted the nomination to contest from the nation’s ruling Nur Otan Party. Cutting across party lines, politicians and academicians have unanimously described him as a worthy candidate for the post, and in the last week, when the proposal was put to a vote, it was supported by all 1200 Congress delegates, which was indicative of the huge popularity he enjoys. Accepting the proposal to contest for the post of president again, Nazarbayev said that he had only one goal in his mind, and that was to tackle all new complex tasks for the benefit of the citizens of Kazakhstan. “Building on our successes, we must move forward,” he emphasized.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev declared his intention to run in an April 26 election to extend his 25-year rule, the longest of any leader in the former Soviet Union. “All citizens should enjoy the same level of rights, carry the same burden of responsibility and have access to equal opportunities,” Nazarbayev, 74, told a meeting of his Nur Otan party in the capital Astana after announcing his candidacy in the earlier-than-scheduled poll. He held out a promise to redistribute some powers once proposed reforms are completed that would include strengthening the independence of the judiciary, creating a more “professional” bureaucracy with foreigners possibly appointed to state posts, and boosting the status and accountability of the police. The former capital Almaty could be given a special status as a financial center, he said.
Kazakhstan’s leader Nursultan Nazarbayev on Wednesday called an early presidential election for April 26, in a move expected to extend his 26-year rule by another five. Nicknamed “Papa” and allowed by law to serve as many terms as he wants, the veteran president is poised to win another term in office easily, although he said he had not yet decided whether to run. Nazarbayev’s re-election would end speculation about his possible successor, a question watched closely by investors. “In the interests of the people, taking into account their appeal to me and their united will … I made a decision and signed a decree to call an early presidential election on April 26, 2015,” television channels showed Nazarbayev saying.
The ruling party of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Monday it wanted the veteran leader to extend his term in an early election this year, in a sign the oil-rich nation’s elite sees no apparent successor after his 26-year grip on power. The 74-year-old former steel worker, popularly nicknamed “Papa”, has ruled his vast Central Asian nation of 17 million with a strong hand since 1989 when he became the head of the local Communist Party. His Nur Otan party published a statement in support of a “people’s initiative” aired at the weekend by the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, which he also chairs, to hold a snap election this year and extend his rule by another five years. “We believe the initiative on holding an early presidential election is the most correct decision in full compliance with the interests of the nation and the people,” the Nur Otan party said in a statement posted on its website (www.nurotan.kz) The president’s office could not be reached for comments.
Kazakhstan today on Oct. 1 holds the election of Senate deputies (upper house of parliament). Some 53 candidates, who have passed the registration procedure, originally submitted their request, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Kazakhstan. Some 39 people were included in the list of candidates, because 14 candidates submitted applications to quit the race. The preparation and election is observed by 166 representatives from foreign states and international organizations, as well as 110 foreign media representatives, CEC said.
Since independence in 1991, Kazakhstan’s ‘southern capital’, Almaty, has engaged in fairly extensive efforts at ‘Kazakhising’ local toponyms. Now the central arteries of the city, once part of the old Soviet planimetry, display ‘genuinely’ Kazakh names. Streets once bearing the names of Bolshevik icons like Kalinin and Kirov are now named after legendary heroes (Kabanbai Batyr) or other figures from Kazakhstan’s nomadic past (Bogenbai Batyr). The example of Furmanova ulitsa offers a fitting metaphor to describe the sense of political stagnation that pervades today’s Kazakhstan. A sense that much-needed change has been postponed until the inevitable, though not yet imminent, leadership change.
Exit polls have predicted that Kazakhstan’s ruling party is headed for a crushing election victory. With three parties possibly entering parliament, democratic representation looks set to broaden slightly. Kazakhstan’s ruling party looked set to celebrate a crushing election victory on Sunday after exit polls gave President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan party 81 percent of the vote. The poll of some 50,000 voters nationwide, conducted by Kazakh think tank Institute of Democracy, showed two other parties possibly entering parliament in the wake of Sunday’s vote.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s ruling party maintained its dominant role in parliament even as two other parties unexpectedly won seats following the worst violence in the oil-rich nation in 20 years.
Nur Otan garnered 80.74 percent of the vote in yesterday’s election, Kuandik Turgankulov, the head of the Central Electoral Commission, told reporters today in the capital, Astana, after 100 percent of votes were counted. The pro-business Akzhol party and the Communists scored above the 7 percent threshold to win seats in the Majilis, the lower house of parliament, he said. Turnout was 75.07 percent.
At least one new party will enter Kazakhstan’s parliament after an election that offered a small concession to democracy following deadly riots by oil workers which shook the country’s stable image built up by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Exit polls after Sunday’s election in the vast Central Asian state put the long-serving leader’s Nur Otan party on course to win by a landslide. But they also suggested two other parties broadly sympathetic to the government, the pro-business Ak Zhol and the Communist People’s Party, could enter the lower house.
Kazakhstan: Oil-rich Kazakhstan votes in polls aimed at giving democratic air to rubber-stamp parliament | The Washington Post
Voters headed to polling stations in large numbers Sunday in the oil-rich Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan in elections that look to have slightly broadened democratic representation in parliament’s rubber-stamp lower house. The high turnout, which reached 75 percent, is perhaps more an outcome of habit than hope, however, since the legislature will likely only undergo cosmetic changes.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Tuesday overturned a decision to cancel parliamentary elections in the mutinous oil town where deadly riots have posed the biggest threat to stability in the ex-Soviet republic since independence 20 years ago. By vetoing the Constitutional Council’s decision, Nazarbayev will allow residents of Zhanaozen to participate in a Jan. 15 vote designed to give Kazakhstan a democratic veneer by admitting a second party to the lower house of parliament.
Residents of a mutinous Kazakh oil town will be excluded from a parliamentary election this month due to a state of emergency imposed after the deadliest riots in the Central Asian state for decades, the Central Election Commission said on Friday. The cancellation of elections in Zhanaozen, where at least 16 people were killed last month in clashes between protesters and riot police, will effectively deny a voice to around 50,000 potential voters in the Jan. 15 election.
“This decision can only be based on fear that the party in power would receive absolutely nothing in a real vote,” said political analyst Aidos Sarym. “Fearing any kind of surprise, and aware that the population is embittered and negatively inclined toward the authorities, the powers-that-be have simply decided to exclude this region.”
Kazakhstan: President dissolves parliament, calls snap election to create multiparty chamber | The Washington Post
Kazakhstan’s president issued a decree Wednesday to dissolve parliament and call a snap election that will end the governing party’s monopolistic grip over the legislature. Under a new election law, a minimum of two parties will enter parliament after the Jan. 15 polls, although no robust anti-government forces are believed to stand any real prospect of winning seats.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev said at a government meeting Tuesday that the election should be brought forward — it was originally scheduled for August 2012 — to avoid the campaigning season coinciding with an anticipated global economic downturn.
Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan’s Ruling Party Takes All Seats In Senate Election | Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Kazakhstan’s ruling Nur-Otan party has claimed all 16 seats available in today’s election to the Senate, or upper house of parliament.
This was not a popular election, as the new deputies were chosen by regional and provincial officials as well as MPs from the Mazhilis, or lower house of parliament, rather than by the country’s electorate. The lower house is comprised entirely of Nur-Otan members.
The CIS observer mission head has expressed confidence that the elections to the upper house of Kazakhstan’s parliament on August 19 will be transparent and will comply with all democratic principles, Itar-Tass reported. The mission’s head and the CIS Executive Committee chairman, Sergei Lebedev, met with the head of the Kazakhstan’s central election commission, Kuandyk Turgankulov, on Thursday.
Lebedev underlined that the CIS observer mission has been repeatedly monitoring the elections in the Central Asian republic and its goal “is to ensure transparency of the election process and citizens’ expression of will.” The mission that has been staying in Kazakhstan since August 11 includes 68 representatives from eight CIS member-states, except for Moldova and Azerbaijan.
The Senate elections will take place in Kazakhstan today. Election of senators will start at 10:00 am Astana time (in some regions – at 11:00). By this time all over the country about 3 thousand deputies of maslikhats of different levels will gather at polling stations to elect 16 members to the upper house of Parliament.
The Central Election Commission registered 39 Senate candidates, including 14 nominated by local representative bodies (maslikhats) and 25 self-nominated ones. According to the CEC, the average age of candidates is 54 years, while the youngest is Erlan Bazekenov, self-nominated from the Aktobe region, born in 1981, and the oldest – Erbolat Sadvakassov, self-nominated from Almaty, born in 1945.
According to Kazakhstan’s Central Election Commission (CEC), incumbent Nursultan Nazarbayev received 95.5 percent of the vote in Kazakhstan’s April 3 presidential election, with almost 90 percent of the electorate casting ballots. Most observers and analysts believe Nazarbayev won the election easily, but consider the declared victory margin, and especially the turnout figure, implausibly high. The…
President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Monday extended his rule over Kazakhstan into a third decade with a crushing 95 percent victory in elections that observers said fell well short of democratic standards. The Central Election Commission said the first official results showed the incumbent had won 95.5 percent of the vote on mass turnout of 89.9…