Ruling party Nur Otan wins Kazakh parliamentary election

Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev’s ruling party, Nur Otan, wins 82 percent of votes in snap parliamentary election

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev casts his ballot at a polling station during a snap parliamentary election in Astana, Kazakhstan, March 20, 2016

President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s ruling Nur Otan party won 82 percent of the votes in Kazakhistan’s snap parliamentary elections on Sunday, official results confirmed on Monday.

Central Election Commission (CEC), confirming that the Mazhilis (parliament) will include same parties as before, stated that the pro-government People’s Communist Party and Ak Zhol also won seats in the parliaments as they passed seven percent threshold.

Three other parties, the Social Democrats, Birlik (Unity) and Auyl (Village) won less than seven percent each.

"This is a great accomplishment of our democracy," 75-year-old leader said in a "victors' forum" event in Astana where thousands of youths dressed in his party’s blue and yellow colors celebrated “overwhelming majority” of the party’ votes.

Many argues the vote results paved the way that president’s daughter Dariga Nazarnayeva, who is deputy minister and has name in party’s list of candidates to take over the power in future.

Nazarbayev’s party, Nur Otan, often drew criticism in the West as he has been ruling the country since 1989 and now it's harder to predict the makeup of Nur Otan's faction where some of its 127 candidates for the 107-seat Mazhilis, the lower house, will have to drop out.

Observers from Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the country did not fulfill the commitments of a democratic 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, OSCE special coordinator for the election observation, told reporters.

"The ruling party had a clear advantage over others in these elections, and while the parties were generally able to campaign freely, genuine political choice remains insufficient."

Following the announcement of results, Nazarbayev defended the elections as being open and democratic.

“We demonstrated to the whole world open, direct voting on a competitive basis in the presence of thousands of international observers and journalists” he said.

On Sunday, he also stated that his party was considering a constitutional reform that would extend the scope of the power of parliament which he indicated that unlikely to result in a major reshuffle of ministers in vote of confidence.

According to the former Soviet Republic’s Central Election Commission 77.1 percent of 9.8 million registered Kazakh voters showed up at polling stations.

OSCE and Central Election Commission are expected to presents reports regarding the elections on Monday.

TRTWorld and agencies