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Three Parties Make it to Kazakh Parliament

RIA Novosti

14:10 17/01/2012 ASTANA, January 17 (RIA Novosti) - Three parties were elected to the Kazakh parliament in Sunday’s vote, the pro-presidential Nur Otan, the pro-business Ak Zhol and the Communists, according to the final results announced on Tuesday.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan, the only political party in parliament to date, will retain its parliamentary majority after receiving 80.99 percent of the vote, equivalent to 83 madnates. Ak Zhol gained 7.47 percent (8 mandates), while Communists were supported by 7.19 percent (seven mandates).

Other parties failed to clear the 7% threshold.

In the previous parliament elected in August 2007, Nur Otan held 98 seats, with the rest occupied by independent lawmakers. None of the six opposition parties managed to win seats.

Parliamentary elections were originally scheduled to take place in Kazakhstan in August 2012 but last November Nazarbayev ordered the legislature dissolved and called for snap elections. The decision came following a request from a group of 53 lawmakers and is designed to bring at least one more party besides Nur Otan into the Mazhilis.

In line with the 2008 election reform, the party with the second-best result in the polls would make it into parliament even if it didn't pass the seven-percent threshold.

The polls were held on January 15 with turnout of more than 75 percent.

Observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) declared the elections “fair and transparent” with only a few “insignificant violations” registered. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), however, said later in the day that Kazakhstan’s parliamentary elections “did not meet key democratic principles."

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