Nur Otan party holds lead in parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan
The ruling party Nur Otan ('Light of the Fatherland') received the support of 82.15% of the vote in the parliamentary elections, the head of the country's Central Electoral Commission Kuandyk Turgankulov said.
According to the preliminary data from the Central Electoral Commission, the Democratic Party of Kazakhstan Ak Zhol gained 7.18%, the Communist People's Party of Kazakhstan (CPPK) gained 7.14%, the People's Democratic Patriotic Party Aul - 2%, the National Social Democratic Party (NSDP) - 1.18% and the Birlik party - 0.29%.
"Thus, the Nur Otan party, the Democratic Party Ak Zhol and the CPPK surpassed the seven-percent threshold, which allows them to be represented in the Majilis (lower chamber) of the parliament of the republic," TASS cited the CEC head.
Earlier, the Central Electoral Commission reported that the turnout was a record 77.1%.
Turgankulov informed that, in accordance with the electoral legislation of Kazakhstan, the final data will be published no later than March 26th.
The Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the headquarters of the Nur Otan party at around midnight,24.kz reports. At the end of the announcement of exit-poll results, Nursultan Nazarbayev thanked the population for placing confidence in the party. He also noted that the elections were held openly and in a peaceful atmosphere.
"More than 800 international and 10,000 local observers who monitored the elections noted that the election process took place in accordance with the law," he said.
The representative of the Association of Cross-Border Cooperation in the Republic of Kazakhstan, Marat Shibutov, in conversation with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza explained that the Nur Otan party's success is due to the fact that "all attempts at rebranding the old parties and the activities of the opposition have failed completely."
He also commented on the low turnout in Almaty of 34.1%, which is less than half the average result in the country. According to the expert, these are a "local peculiarities". "There is always the lowest voter turnout rate in the country here, because it's a metropolis. The bigger the city, the lower the turnout," Marat Shibutov explained.
A member of the Zinoviev Club, the director of the EurAsEC Institute, Vladimir Lepekhin, said that the election results show that "the situation in the country has not changed." "Even though some economic indicators have fallen, due to the global crisis and problems in Russia related to the economic sanctions, it's not a reason to vote against the ruling party, because the elite and the people know that these deficiencies do not depend on the leadership of Kazakhstan, but on the general situation in the world and in the EEU space. And there is no reason to be disappointed in the ruling party. Conversely, when there are external threats, it makes sense to come together and give an even bigger mandate of trust to the government," he said.
In addition, the success of the ruling party is due to the fact that "other political parties did not show special activity." "Those parties which passed had the task of remaining in the Parliament. As polls showed that will do it, these parties did not bother themselves to do anything. Accordingly, other parties saw that they won't pass in the parliament, so they didn't overwork themselves either," the expert believes.
"The only thing that could change the situation in Kazakhstan and raise the popularity of the opposition parties is some kind of external intervention, but I think that the security forces and the country's leadership pursue quite a competent policy in Kazakhstan in order to minimize the interference of external forces, so the result is absolutely predictable," Lepekhin stressed.
Speaking about what might change in Kazakhstan's policy after the elections, he recalled that "the president formulates the main tasks" in the republic. "He's got some tasks, one of which is to ensure the political system is ready for the new leadership. In fact, these parliamentary elections were the way to check the elite's readiness again to carry out independent actions aimed at the implementation of the development strategy. That is, on the one hand, the problem of the political development of the country still exists, but on the other hand, the trends of the next few years were indicated," Lepekhin noted.
Commenting on the situation in Almaty, the expert said that it is "a kind of opposition to Astana, but an opposition which hasn't been framed." "There is no real opposition party which would really reflect the interests of Almaty," he said.
"The people of Almaty have a feeling that they do not like something in the policy of Astana, and in general there is a certain inertia of confrontation, for example, like Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia," the director of the EurAsEC Institute added.
"Roughly speaking, residents of Almaty do not know what they want in politics. That's how I can explain the low turnout," Vladimir Lepekhin concluded.