Elections held in Kazakhstan

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Anvar Raimov

2008-10-14

ASTANA, Oct. 10—Elections to the Parliament were held in Kazakhstan on Oct. 4. In accordance with the Kazak Constitution, members of the Senate—the upper house of Parliament—are elected by the Maslikhat (local representative bodies) deputies.

Voting takes place at a joint meeting of electors that is considered to be in order if more than 50 percent of the total number of Maslikhat deputies are present. According to electoral law, a candidate who gets more than half the votes is considered to be elected.

The term of office for the 16 senators elected in October of 2002 expired this month, which is why, by order of the president, regular elections were set for Oct. 4.

The electoral process was monitored by 58 international observers, the largest group of which represented the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); there were also five observers from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and four from other foreign countries.

The Central Election Committee (CEC) conducted a preliminary vote count and estimated that 98 percent of the Maslikhat deputies cast ballots. International observers reported no violations during the vote.

After the elections, two briefings were conducted by the CEC, one for local journalists and one for the foreign press. CEC chairman Kwandyk Turgankulov reported that 3,231 of 3,310 Maslikhat deputies, or 97.6 percent, voted for 37 candidates, 16 of whom received at least a simple majority. The CEC will determine the final results of the elections by Oct. 10 and they will be released by Oct. 13.

The coordinator of the CIS group of observers, Vladimir Babichev, said: “Elections were conducted to adhere to a high level of organisation. All electoral legal requirements were strictly observed at all polling places.”

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