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On the Presidential Election on Sunday April 3, 2011

The fourth presidential election in the history of independent Kazakhstan tookplace on April 3.

Among the 22 candidates nominated for the Presidential election on 3 April, 2011, only four were registered by the Central Election Commission by March 2, 2011 These included the incumbent, Nursultan Nazarbayev, representing the Nur Otan party, Zhambyl Akhmetbekov from the People’s Communist Party, Gani Kassymov from the Party of  Patriots, and Mels Yeleussizov from the “Tabigat” Environmental Union.

The Presidential candidates in Kazakhstan have published their political platforms in official press. Incumbent President Nursultan Nazarbayev's platform was based on 'Country's development program 2020' and his 'Message to the people of Kazakhstan'. The priorities are to continue ensuring sustainable economic growth, implementation of the program of forced industrial-innovative development of the country, and support for small and medium businesses. In his platform 'Let's build the future together!' Nazarbayev intends to reduce unemployment to 5
percent and poverty to 6 percent, increase average lifetime to 72 years, and to cut maternal and infant mortality by half. His plans include implementing a program on public offering of the stock of huge Kazakh companies.
Communist Zhambyl Ahmetbekov was running in the elections under the slogan 'Authorities have power - we have truth'. He promised to find a way when the country’s natural resources benefit its people. For this end he offered to restore state control over energy, oil and mining industries, as well as railway and air transport sectors. Ahmetbekov suggested stopping export of cotton, wool, rawstock and wood, introducing quotas on the export of ferrous and nonferrous metals, and expanding production of this stuff domestically. He offered to introduce state
control over pricing and promotion of domestic producers.

 

The platform of Gani Kasimov, head of the Patriots Party, was based on upgrading all branches of the state power and transiting to a presidential- parliamentary form of government. In terms of administrative-territorial system,
Kasymov offers to abolish all regional establishments. The government would work directly with regional administrations through the ministries. Heads of these administrations should be elected by people and approved by the president.

Kasymov promised to revive collective farming and the right of women to retire at the age of 55.

Mels Eleusizov, leader of the Environmental Union 'Tabigat' ('Nature') and the only self-promoted candidate, saw Russia as the main priority in Kazakhstan's foreign policy. However, Eleusizov in his platform 'New line, new way' came out against Kazakhstan’s joining to the WTO. "It is too early to join the WTO, not having our own all-sufficient production. Thus, we turn ourselves into a raw materials-producing agrarian appendage." Eleusizov also opposed policies of resettling people in the cities, offering instead to raise living standards in rural
areas.

A total of 9,725 local election commissions and 223 territorial election commissions prepared for the election, the Central Election Commission reported. 35 voting stations were opened in the Kazakh embassies abroad. At all polling stations, the voting started at 7.00 AM and ended at 20.00 PM local time on April 3. The counting of votes proceeded after 20.00 PM the same day and continued for 12 hours. Every two hours, the Central Election Commission provided information on the voter turnout in all regions at the CEC press centre.

The Central Election Commission announced that it had accredited 1,059 international observers to monitor the presidential election. Among them, 357 are from the OSCE/ODIHR, 426 from the CIS mission, 13 from the SCO, and 163 observers from twenty foreign states. 60 members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly monitorod presidential elections in Kazakhstan. Head of Croatia's delegation to the PA Tonino Picula headed the mission of the OSCE PA to observe the presidential election in Kazakhstan that passed on April 3.

The incumbent President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, voted earlier on Sunday in the off-year presidential election, calling it a “historic moment” for Kazakhstan and an opportunity to move forward the process of modernization of the country.

“This is a historic moment for Kazakhstan when the whole world has yet again turned its attention on Kazakhstan. We are holding a historic election today
taking place in the year of the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan,” the President told
dozens of local and foreign reporter at the National Academic Library in Astana
immediately after voting with the First Lady, Sara Nazarbayeva.
“We have done a lot, and we have lived through a lot, and we have
overcome a lot. But the goals of modernizing the state and the society are
enormous. That is why today’s voting by our citizens will determine our unity, our
desire to implement what I noted in my state-of-the-nation address” Nazarbayev
said. “We have turned towards an industrial and innovation programme, and we
have turned towards social modernization. Everything is aimed at [improving] the
wellbeing of a common person.”
“All candidates for president had equal opportunities to campaign in all
regions of the country. The media covered them equally. They outlined their ideas,
their thoughts for the Kazakhstan’s people society to consider. There are valuable
proposals there, which we will have to use,” he added.
“We are an open society. The Central Election Commission registered

1,059 foreign observers, more than 200 foreign reporters. In such an open
and legal manner, a fair election is taking place in our country today. All the
Kazakhs coming to the polling stations… I know they are coming as families and
colleagues… I am very grateful to all for this activity. I think we are all will be
voting for stability, for friendship, for the future of ourselves and our children,
for social modernization, for rising wellbeing of our citizens, for the future of our
common home, the Republic of Kazakhstan,” the President said.

More than 9,180,000 citizens in Kazakhstan are eligible to vote.
The Central Election Commission gave preliminary results after it receiving
information on voting results from all 16 territorial commissions:
-Nursultan Nazarbayev won the presidential elections, having gained
95,5 percent of the vote. The remaining votes were distributed as follows:
Zhambyl Akhmetbekov from the People’s Communist Party received 1,4 percent
of the vote, Gani Kassymov from the Party of Patriots received 1,9 percent of the
vote and Mels Yeleussizov from the “Tabigat” Environmental Union received 1,2
percent.
The vote turnout of the presidential elections in Kazakhstan made 89.9
percent, the Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan Kuandyk
Turgankulov said at briefing in Astana.

The inauguration of the new president, whose date is to be determined
by the Central Election Commission, will have to be held within a month of the
publication of the certified results of the election.

Irnerio Seminatore, President of the European Institute for International
Relations noted high level of organization at the ballot stations and professionalism
of the heads of election commissions. E-Forum association director Baudouin de
Sonis said he was impressed with complete professionalism of election officials
and election workers. "Kazakhstan is steadily moving toward full democracy," he
added.
The elections in Kazakhstan meet all European standards. Sondor
Kovacs, the representative of the Hungarian Delegation said it at the briefing in
Astana. 'The whole process of elections meets European standards. I'm glad to see
that people of Kazakhstan willingly go to voting stations and vote. I have not seen
any violations of the process', he added.
Representative of the Russian observers' mission Yuri Solozobov has
express his opinion on the elections in our country today at the briefing in Astana.
'One of the prior outcomes of the elections is that Kazakhstan has positioned
itself as the main partner of democracy in Central Asia. This is the most reliable

country that is committed to transparent and fair rules of democracy,' the Russian
observer said. There have been no restrictions for international observers today.
We were given opportunities to check all of the polling stations wherever they
were. Transportation was provided, he said. 'The most important thing that these
elections have been held transparently and fairly,' he concluded.
We have not seen any violations that could impact the course of early
presidential elections in Kazakhstan, the Shanhai Cooperation Organization’ s
Secretary General Muratbek Imangaliyev said it at the briefing in Astana. 'We have
not seen any deviations from international principles and standards of democracy',
he noted.

Tags: presidential election