Kazakhstan held parliamentary poll

On the 20th of March, 2016 Kazakhstan had its legislative elections for Mazhilis, the lower chamber of its Parliament.

Last Sunday’s vote did not reveal any violations within the process, as the authorities did pay attention to comply with the basic requirements and run the elections smoothly. About 10 million voters were eligible to vote and the turnout was reportedly more than 75%.

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The results of the March 20, 2016, parliamentary elections show, too, that three parties will have seats in the Mazhilis. Nur-Otan got 82.15 percent of the vote; Ak Zhol, 7.18 percent; and the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan took 7.14 percent.

Experts agreed that this was done to counter the political risks should the country’s economic conditions worsen. Oil-rich Kazakhstan’s has been facing growing inflation due to global oil price instability over the past years. The oil price dropped more than half of its value since 2014, leading to the weakening of Kazakh currency.

Despite the global economic downturn, government probably did not have to worry about calling for an election. Presidential political party Nur Otan (translated as “Light Fatherland” from Kazakh) still most popular and reliable among Kazakhs. All other five parties participating in the parliamentary elections did not pose serious challenge. It was, therefore, expected that Nur Otan would take an overwhelming majority of seats in the 107-seat Mazhilis.

Kazakhs authorities very optimistic about the country’s democratization course. Kazakh leader mentioned that in the future his government could give the parliament more powers in a constitutional reform. Speaking to journalists he said that “there could be redistribution of power between the president, the parliament and the government”. The President said the government would “look at the situation in the economy, globally and within the country”.

 

by Mark Akhmed

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