Kazakhstan ruling party takes majority of seats in snap vote
Kazakhstan’s ruling party secured nearly two-thirds of seats in the Central Asian country’s parliament, according to final election results published Monday.
The snap vote held earlier this month in the vast ex-Soviet country was called by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as he moved to turn the page after deadly riots last year.
A new system was introduced for this election, with 69 deputies — out of the 98 in the Majilis, the lower house of parliament — elected by proportional representation.
The other 29 were elected by the first-past-the-post system with independent candidates on the ballot for the first time in nearly two decades.
Deputies of the ruling Amanat party will take 62 seats in the Majilis, according to Kazakhstan’s Election Commission.
A total of six parties will be represented in parliament compared to three in the current one, but opposition parties were barred from the vote.
The five other parties will have between four and eight deputies, while seven seats will be taken by independent candidates.
Following the vote, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) welcomed progress in Kazakhstan’s parliamentary elections but said more democratic reforms were needed.
The OSCE noted that the voting “was organised in a smooth manner overall” but that “significant procedural irregularities were observed”.
Videos of alleged ballot box stuffing in several regions of Kazakhstan appeared on social media after the vote and the Election Commission confirmed a few instances on Monday.
President Tokayev announced the early vote as part of a “modernisation” drive introduced after protests against fuel prices erupted in January last year.
The demonstrations were crushed and 238 people died, according to the official toll.