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Kazakh Ruling Party Wins Most Seats In Parliament

March 22, 2016
by RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

Kazakhstan's election authorities say President Nursultan Nazarbaev's Nur Otan party will receive 84 seats in the lower house of parliament following elections on March 20.

The Central Election Commission announced on March 22 that two other parties allied with Nazarbaev -- Ak Zhol and the Communist People's Party -- will get 7 seats each in the 107-seat Mazhilis.

Nine seats will be filled by the Assembly of People representing Kazakhstan's ethnic groups.

Final results show that Nur Otan won 82.2 percent of the vote, while Ak Zhol (7.18 percent) and the Communists (7.14 percent) each received just over 7 percent of the vote, the minimum required to win party seats.

Voter turnout was 77.12 percent.

Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have said "genuine political choice" was "insufficient" in the vote, and that Kazakhstan "still has a considerable way to go" in meeting international standards for democratic votes.

None of the elections held in Kazakhstan since its independence from the Soviet Union in December 1991 have ever been deemed as free or fair by Western countries or international observers.

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/kazakh-ruling- party-wins-most-seats-in-parliament/27628227.html

Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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