Kazakhstan: An Observer’s Reflections on the Kazakhstan Presidential Election | eurasianet.org

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 Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which had the largest of the international observer missions, cited several improvements in this presidential vote over previous ballots, but cautioned that “needed reforms for holding genuine democratic elections still have to materialize as this election revealed shortcomings similar to those in previous elections.” I observed the electoral process in Astana and Almaty as a member of the Independent Observer Mission, accredited to the Central Election Commission, and exchanged views with election officials, voters, media representatives, foreign diplomats, and the other observer missions. Despite noting significant irregularities, most observers believe Nazarbayev won the election by a large margin, though 95.5 percent is an atypical figure for any free election.

Full Article: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/63257

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