Turkic Council Mission monitored elections in Kazakhstan
The Mission was headed by Deputy Secretary General of the Turkic Council Ömer Kocaman and comprised of the officials of the Turkic Council Secretariat as well as Central Election Commission representatives and diplomats from the Member States other than Kazakhstan.
The Mission has monitored the elections on 10 January 2020 by visiting 14 polling stations in Nur-Sultan city and presented the assessment of the Mission on the Elections with national, international and public media outlets at a press conference organized today.
The full text of the statement of the Turkic Council International Election Observation Mission is presented here below.
International Election Observation Mission of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States
Parliamentary Elections of the Republic of Kazakhstan
11 January, 2021
The elections of deputies of the “Mazhilis” of the Parliament and “Maslikhats” of the Republic of Kazakhstan were successfully conducted in compliance with the national legislation and international standards. Therefore, we congratulate the Republic of Kazakhstan and the brotherly Kazakh people, and wish that the results of the elections would further strengthen prosperity of the country.
The International Election Observation Mission of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council) conducted observation of the Parliamentary Elections of the Republic of Kazakhstan on 10th January, 2021. The Mission was composed of officials from the Secretariat of the Turkic Council, as well as Central Election Commission representatives and diplomats from the Member States other than Kazakhstan.
The Mission carried out its activities in accordance with the national legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as rules set out in generally recognized international documents on the organization and conduct of elections.
In the framework of pre-election contacts, the Mission had meetings with the representatives of political parties “Ak Zhol”, “Auyl”, Nur Otan”, “People’s Party” and “Adal” on 6-8 January 2021 in order to get acquainted with the campaigning processes and preparations of the parties for the upcoming Parliamentary elections. The delegation discussed the main platforms of the parties for the elections, possible challenges in relation to campaign funding and access to media coverage, specific concerns on the quality of the legal framework for elections, including the electoral system.
On 6 January 2021 the Observation Mission met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr.Shakhrat Nurishev and on 8th January with Deputy Chairman of the Central Commission for Elections, Mr.Konstantin Petrov and Deputy Akim of Nur-Sultan city, Mr.Baktiyar Makenov.
At the meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister, the Mission was informed about the measures carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at preparing diplomatic missions and consular offices of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the upcoming election. Minister also briefed about the measures taken by the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan for ensuring larger involvement of Kazakh citizens living abroad in the voting process during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
As is known, the elections of deputies of the “Mazhilis” of the Parliament and “Maslikhats” are to be administered by the Central Election Commission (CEC) through 232 Territorial and 10,061 Precinct Election Commissions. The CEC registered five party lists containing 312 candidates, including 90 women. Some 11.9 million voters were registered as well.
As a result of the reforms in “Election Law”, the quota of 30 % is now to be applied for the nomination of women and/or youth from the party lists and the 2020 amendments to the “Law on Political Parties” number of party members reduced required member for party registration from 40,000 to 20,000, with at least 600 members per branch in each oblast and the three cities of republican significance.
The widespread coverage of the elections by the media outlets of the country can be noted as an element contributing to the awareness-raising and transparency in the election process.
The Mission observed elections in 14 polling stations in Nur-Sultan city. Observers were given full access to the polling stations and received detailed information from the polling station officials. Elections were prepared and Election Day procedures implemented in compliance with the electoral legislation.
The Mission observed no attempt to influence voter’s choice and did not find any serious evidence of intervention of administrative or law enforcement authorities in the activities of the polling stations. In line with the law on elections, necessary conditions provided to national and international observers to conduct impartial observation in the Elections.
The Mission observed no any campaign activities taking place nearby the polling stations. Necessary information and materials about political parties and election procedures were presented inside the polling station.
At the same time, in accordance with the measures taken in connection with the pandemic, curtains or doors were not installed in the voting booths. The Mission noticed that necessary sanitary precautions have been taken by CEC at the polling stations concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mission witnessed participation of the national and international observers, which reinforces the transparency and public accountability in the Elections.
Based on the observation, the Mission noticed the active participation of all age groups in elections.
The Mission observed that there were no serious technical problems, affecting the results of the elections. At the same time some polling stations were not provided the pandus system for persons with disabilities.
Instead of the current circumstances, due to the pandemic the necessary health and security measures in the polling stations were well organized and could be applied as a best practice by other countries.
Counting of ballots was conducted according to the requirements of the national election legislation.
In conclusion, International Election Observation Mission of the Turkic Council affirms that the Elections to Mezhilis and Maslhekhats of the Republic of Kazakhstan were open, transparent and complied with the national legislation and internationally recognized election standards.
The Mission will share with the Member States and relevant International Organizations its assessment and recommendations on the Elections in the coming days.
We once again congratulate Kazakhstan and the Kazakh people for successful conduct of the elections and reiterate our hope that the results of the elections would further contribute to the development in the country.
NEWS DATE: 11.01.2021