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Kazakhstan to hold parliamentary elections on January 10: Kazakh citizens in Romania will be able to vote at the Embassy in Bucharest

Kazakh citizens in Romania will be able to vote in the parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan scheduled for January 10 at the polling station at the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Bucharest, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Romania, Nurbakh Rustemov (photo), announced on Thursday in an online press briefing.

“For the citizens living overseas, 66 polling stations were created in 51 countries at the representative offices of Kazakhstan abroad. A polling station will be opened at the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Romania in compliance with all the current sanitary rules,” said the Ambassador.

The diplomat stated that his government is committed to holding elections according to the highest standards. “Any alleged violations will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate action taken,” he emphasized.

Mr. Rustemov announced that as of Thursday, the Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan admitted six political parties to the upcoming elections – Nur Otan, Ak Zhol, People’s Party of Kazakhstan, People’s Democratic Party Auyl, Patriotic Party Adal and National Social Democratic Party.

On October 21, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has signed a decree scheduling the parliamentary elections for the Majilis for 10 January 2021.

Majilis is the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament consisting of 107 deputies who are elected for a five-year term. The upper house is the Senate of Kazakhstan, with 47 members.

The previous elections for the Majilis were held in March 2016. Six political parties participated in the elections and three of them, Nur Otan (82.2%), Ak Zhol Democratic Party of Kazakhstan (7.18%), the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan (7.14%), won the right to send their deputies to the chamber.

Currently, the Nur Otan party has a majority of 84 deputies in the Majilis, while the Ak Zhol and the Communist People’s party have 7 deputies each.

According to Mr. Rustemov, the election period in Kazakhstan is divided into three stages:

-the pre-election period (21.10.2020-09.12.2020), during which the parties conduct internal work to determine the best candidates for inclusion in the electoral lists.

-the campaign period will take place between December 10 and January 8 . During this stage, all parties will be given equal opportunities, such as access to the media and running an election program.

-the post-election period starting from January 10, 2021, when lists of members of Parliament will be  registered.

“All political parties had time to prepare for the upcoming election campaign, develop an election platform, and enhance party infrastructure. The Central Election Commission and the Prosecutor General’s Office will continuously monitor the legality, transparency, and fairness of elections,” President Tokayev stated.

He emphasised the reforms he has undertaken since he stepped into the presidential office in June 2019, including the amendments brought to the electoral legislation, as the introduction of a parliamentary opposition institution.

In 2019, Tokayev signed a decree that introduced a mandatory 30% quota for women and young people on party lists in an effort to increase their voice in the decision-making process.

The renewed composition of the Kazakh parliament, noted Tokayev, will focus on “quality legislative support for social and economic reforms in the country.”

The president said that in the context of a global economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Kazakhstan has to take effective anti-crisis measures, ensuring sustainable economic development, and improving the well-being of the people.

He encouraged Kazakhs to participate in the elections.

Since gaining independence, Kazakhstan has elected Parliament seven times.

The first parliamentary elections of Independent Kazakhstan were held on March 7, 1994. At that time, the Parliament consisted of 177 deputies. According to the current law, 98 out of 107 Mazhilis deputies are elected by direct vote from party lists, and nine are elected by the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan.

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