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.
Nazarbayev, 71, who has ruled the Central Asian state since 1989 in the Soviet era, is seeking to staunch discontent and promote a multiparty system in a nation shaken by mass riots and clashes with the police. The president, speaking at Nur Otan’s campaign headquarters after the vote, said Kazakh citizens voted for “stability, calm, tolerance, friendship of a multinational people.”
“We see the virtual continuation of the political status quo as the only likely scenario,” Julia Tsepliaeva, head of research at BNP Paribas in Moscow, said by e-mail today. “At the same time, political monopoly of Nur Otan has been broken.” The tenge weakened for the first time in five days, losing 0.2 percent to 148.43 per dollar as of 12:37 p.m. in Astana. The Kazakh currency has gained less than 0.1 percent against the greenback in 2012, while the ruble advanced 0.6 percent and Ukraine’s hryvnia weakened 0.3 percent.
Full Article: Nazarbayev Party Keeps Kazakh Dominance – Bloomberg.