Kazakh Presidential election results show lack of choice

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (O.C.S.E.) has welcomed improvements in the organisation of elections in Kazakhstan, which has resulted in the landslide re-election of President Nursultan Nazarbaev with over 90% of votes cast.

The OCSE press statement goes on to criticise the lack of pluralism in the Central Asian Republic:
OSCE Chairman-in-Office Dimitrij Rupel said the findings pointed to a continued need to open up the political life in Kazakhstan, in order to allow meaningful competition among candidates and political parties.

The Slovenian Foreign Minister, who is hosting the OSCE Ministerial Council in Ljubljana, said that the international observers had also acknowledged positive developments where they occurred.

"Sustained efforts are necessary, however, to bring about a situation where OSCE commitments on democratic elections and accountable governance are truly met" he added.

The B.B.C. reported the story negatively here.
Main opposition candidate Zharmakhan Tuyakbai, who secured just 6.64% of the vote according to official results, alleged there had been "multiple violations".

"We will take all legal measures to protest the official results of the voting and will press for this election to be declared invalid," Mr Tuyakbai said on Monday.

"The authoritarian regime of Nazarbayev is taking a totalitarian turn," he said.

The results were broadly expected, as illustrated by this poll published on Friday by Intermedia.

The problems of taking the polling and election figures at face value are the usual suspicion of electronic voting systems and the degree to which opinion poll respondents consider themselves free to express dissident views. Whatever reservations one may have on this issue, this was no Ukrainian fraud.

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