Kazakhstan elects Majilis and Maslikhats
The new composition of the Majilis (Lower House of Parliament) and Maslikhats (local authorities) are being elected today by 9.79 million citizens of Kazakhstan, polling stations are working from 4:00 MSK. Voting in most of the country will end at 17:00 MSK, and at 18:00 MSK in the West Kazakhstan, Atyrau, Aktyubinsk and Mangistau regions, which are in different time zones. Since there is no minimum turnout requirement, elections will be considered valid regardless of the number of voters.
In total, the elections to the Majilis involve six parties: the ruling 'Nur Otan', which nominated 127 candidates, 'Ak Zhol' with 35 candidates, Aul with 19 candidates, the Communist People's Party with 22 candidates, the National Social Democratic Party with 23 candidates and 'Birlik' with 8 candidates.
By law, 98 out of 107 deputies of the Majilis are elected on party lists and national electoral districts, the remaining nine are chosen by the Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan on March 21st. These elections, like the previous ones, are early elections, and are organized on the initiative of deputies, since they would allow to "immediately begin to implement new reforms" and will contribute to "effective implementation of anti-crisis measures."
The elections are observed by 817 people, 286 represent ODIHR, 301 - CIS missions, 9 - SCO, 76 - OSCE PA, 14 - PACE, 17 - TURKSOY, 3 - OIC, 8 - Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries, another 103 observers came from various foreign countries.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Prime Minister Karim Masimov have already voted in the election. The President, at the same time, expressed confidence that the electorate will actively vote, using its constitutional powers. "The early elections are being held on the initiative of the parliament of our country with the realization of the fact that updating is currently proceeding throughout the whole of Kazakhstan, we are overcoming the crisis situations, this requires new, highly-trained, knowledgeable deputies, who will adopt new laws. I hope that the results will be very good, we will elect the parliament our country needs," Nazarbayev said.
According to data at 7:00 MSK, voter turnout amounted to 17.57% of voters. In Russia, Kazakhstan citizens vote in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Astrakhan, Omsk, in total, more than 2 thousand Kazakhstan citizens have voted abroad so far. Observers noted that the elections are being held in a calm atmosphere and with a high turnout.