Monday, January 18, 2021

Kazakhstani ruling party sweeps elections; OSCE says voting is uncompetitive | Election News

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The only registered opposition party in Kazakhstan refused to field candidates in Sunday’s poll.

Kazakhstan’s ruling party consolidated its grip on parliament in unopposed elections, officials said on Monday.

The Central Election Commission said ruling party Nur Otan won 71% of the vote in Sunday’s parliamentary elections and two other parties loyal to the government also won seats.

The Nur Otan party is led by former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who resigned in 2019 after nearly three decades in power, but retains broad influence. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who succeeded him as the country’s president, hailed Sunday’s vote as “a new step in the democratic development of the country”.

The country’s only registered opposition party refused to field candidates.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in a statement that “an uncompetitive campaign and de facto systemic limitations on constitutionally guaranteed fundamental freedoms left voters with no real choice.”

OSCE observers noted in their statement that the nation’s political landscape is largely dominated by the ruling party and that the line between party and government is often blurred.

“As all the political parties competing in the elections supported the policies of the ruling party, the campaign was not competitive and the voters had no real political choice,” the OSCE said.

Several dozen protesters were briefly arrested in Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, and the capital, Nur-Sultan.



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